The US Administration wants drivers to keep their eyes on the road (Photo: NHTS)
The US administration released guidelines Monday that include concrete measures to reduce driver distraction.
The recommendations, issued by the Transportation Department'sÂ National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), call on automakers to disable manual text entry for messaging and internet browsing while a car is in motion; not include video-based entertainment and communications in infotainment systems; and not display text messages and some other types of text on in-car monitors while the car is being driven.
The proposals are part of the US government's continuing efforts to limit driver distraction resulting from the sharp increase in entertainment, communication and navigation functions available in today's cars.
"Distracted driving is a deadly epidemic that has devastating consequences on our nation's roadways," said US Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. The guidelines aim to provide automakers with "a way to balance the innovation consumers want with the safety we all need."
NHTSA also recommends to instal systems that limit the time a driver must take his eyes off the road to perform any task to two seconds at a time and twelve seconds total.
The agency cited a new study that shows that so-called visual-manual tasks conducted with mobile phones while driving increase the risk of getting into a crash by three times.Â The study also found that text messaging while driving increased the risk of a crash or near-crash by two times and resulted in the driver's eyes off the road for an average of 23.3 seconds total. Using a cellphone to place or receive a call increases the risk by three times.