New Smartphones may soon come with a ‘Driving Mode,’ if US authorities can get manufacturers to agree to it…

US Regulators Look To Reduce Road Deaths With Driving Mode For Smartphones

The US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) will shortly be issuing ‘voluntary guidelines’ for makers of smartphones, which will limit distracting apps and services accessible on smartphones when their users are driving.

Current US transport secretary Anthony Foxx said in an interview to the New York Times earlier this week:

 “Your smartphone becomes so many different things that it’s not just a communication device. Distraction is still a problem. Too many people are dying and being injured on our roadways.”

The proposed action by the NHTSA is a move to reduce the rising number of smartphone-related vehicle deaths by hoping that smartphone manufacturers will equip new phones with a safe driving mode that will block or modify apps to prevent them from being a distraction to people behind the wheel.

While the NHTSA cannot enforce its new guidelines on the likes of Apple or Samsung, US regulators are hoping that this ‘driving mode’ will be adopted in the same way that the now common airplane mode was adopted back in 2007.

Transportation secretary Foxx also said:

“As millions of Americans take to the roads for Thanksgiving gatherings, far too many are put at risk by drivers who are distracted by their cell phones.’

As part of the new guidelines, the NHTSA are hoping that smartphone manufacturers will design the new systems in such a way that it can ‘pair’ with on board car systems and switch on ‘driving mode’ automatically. This would allow phones to automatically block or silence any apps or software not wanted when driving while allowing access to guidance systems such as Google Maps, and music.

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