Phase 2 of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Driver Distraction Guidelines have been released, and they include a call for phone manufacturers to limit the features that passenger and commercial vehicle drivers can use while they are on the road. These guidelines are not mandatory, and they would help to cut down on distracted driving caused by people using a mobile device while behind the wheel on Connecticut roadways.
Currently, technology does not allow for phone manufacturers to determine if the person in a vehicle is driving or a passenger, so people would have to voluntarily shut down features on their phone. The recommendations of the NHTSA are that most visual functions, aside from maps, should not work while someone is driving.
While on the road, people would only be able to use emergency services or obtain directions from their phone. Things like videos, scrolling text or social media and the Internet would not be available while someone is driving. This could theoretically either be accomplished by having the phone link to an in-vehicle system or by activating driver mode on the phone.
A leading cause of semi truck accidents, just as it is with passenger cars, is distracted driving. However, big rig collisions can be even more devastating to occupants of other vehicles because of the overwhelming weight and size of the trucks. An attorney who is representing someone who has been seriously injured in such an accident might review the cellphone records of the truck driver to see if the phone was being used at the time of the collision. If so, a case could be made that the driver should be held financially responsible for the victim’s losses.