Although technological advancements have made cars capable of doing things they never could before, it has also increased the opportunities for distracted driving. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is looking into limiting in-car distractions, but automakers say the government should focus on motorists bringing in outside devices instead, The Detroit News reports.
The NHTSA believes that automakers are creating distractions for drivers by offering in-car electronics such as OnStar, text messaging and web browsing. The administration hopes to create a series of voluntary guidelines that manufacturers should follow to make drivers safer.
"Distracted driving is unsafe, irresponsible and can have deadly consequences," NHTSA Administrator David Strickland told the newspaper.
Some automakers have bristled at the proposed legislation, however, saying that there is only so much they can do. Manufacturing regulations will not change the fact that motorists will bring their phones in the car, and car company officials claim that built-in devices are much safer. Some, like Mercedes-Benz USA senior manager for safety affairs Markus Hess, point out that changing in-car systems would be a significant undertaking and may not even create a much safer environment.
"This would be a resource-intensive process and would not provide net safety benefits to the driving public," he told The Detroit News.
There have already been a number of laws put in place to help limit distracted driving. Currently, 35 states and Washington, D.C. have made texting and driving illegal, but some are still struggling to do so. Several bills in Florida, for instance, have gone nowhere in the state legilsature, CBSMiami reports.
Being smart behind the wheel is a crucial part of road safety, but so is having a vehicle that's running properly. New Jersey State Auto Auction's Total Car Care center offers repairs and maintenance to make sure your car is as safe as possible.