Soloff & Zervanos, P.C.
Free ConsultationAll calls answered 24/75 convenient locations
Click Here To Call Now
215-392-4217 Local
800-724-2323 Toll free
to Our Offices
Toggle Menu Email Contact
Toggle View Our Practice Areas

Federal government urging cell phone makers to provide apps to make driving safer

Everyone wants our roads to be safer from accidents caused by distracted driving, but on the other hand, everyone wants to have the freedom to use our cell phones, even while driving.

When the government gets involved in these issues, everyone has an opinion, as do those involved in the related industries. A recent proposal by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to make our streets and highways safer from distracted driving has received significant support and significant opposition.

The NHTSA's Proposal

As reported by the Seattle Times, the NHTSA proposed voluntary changes for smart-phone makers to add apps that would prevent drivers from using certain functions while their vehicles are in motion.

The reasoning for this proposal involves the dramatic increases in traffic death over the past year, including deaths caused involving distracted drivers. The article informs that last year saw at least 3,500 deaths due to driving distractions, including the most dramatic increase in highway accidents from one year to the next since 1966.

Interested Parties

Of course, anyone involved in the design and manufacturer of smart phones and vehicles will have a significant interest in how the NHTSA's proposal plays out.

Groups of auto makers seem very much in favor of what the NHTSA is proposing here. With the amount of flak the auto industry has taken in recent years for the distractions of the in-dash technology in newer cars, along with previous NHTSA safety efforts focused on the auto industry's in-dash enhancements, it makes sense. Many have argued that this in-dash technology has been an important aspect in the increase of distracted driving accidents.

Ford Elizabeth Weigandt, spokesperson for Ford Motors, is encouraged that the NHTSA is looking to other sources other than just automobiles when seeking causes of distracted driving accidents.

So, the auto industry is happy to have some of the attention drawn away from their industry. But the industry now under the microscope is not as happy about it.

According to the Seattle Times article, "The Consumer Technology Association, a trade group whose members include top smart phone makers Apple and Samsung Electronics, characterized the guidelines as 'extreme.'"

Other opponents call the regulation "regulatory overreach," saying the NHTSA lacks jurisdiction and the proposal "highly questionable, de facto regulation."

To further complicate matters, the NHTSA's proposal could potentially hinder the competitive race between smart phone manufacturers already working to provide driving safety features in their products.

Although the proposal - if adopted - would certainly make the roads safer, we are far from any agreement as to the appropriate approach.

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information

Philadelphia Office
1525 Locust Street
8th Floor
Philadelphia, PA 19102

Toll Free: 800-724-2323
Phone: 215-392-4217
Fax: 215-732-2289
Philadelphia Law Office Map

Reading Office
38 N 6th Street
Reading, PA 19601

Phone: 215-392-4217
Reading Law Office Map

Allentown Office
612 Hamilton Street
The Trifecta Building
2nd Floor
Allentown, PA 18101

Phone: 215-392-4217
Allentown Law Office Map

Lancaster Office
8 North Queen Street
Lancaster, PA 17603

Phone: 215-392-4217
Lancaster Law Office Map

Cherry Hill Office
457 Haddonfield Rd, Suite 540
Cherry Hill, NJ 08002

Phone: 215-392-4217
Cherry Hill Law Office Map