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Federal Regulators Ask Tech Industry to Help with Crisis
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texting while driving

Summary: Federal auto regulators are turning to the cellphone makers to create blocks on certain apps to take on the distracted driving crisis.

The federal government is asking cellphone makers like Samsung, Apple, and more to place regulations on certain apps when users are driving. Auto safety regulators want a “driver mode” to be added to certain apps and functions that will block them being used, cutting down on distracted driving.


The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration imagines the driver mode to be a “simplified user interface that is intended to minimize distraction experienced by a driver using that device.” With more ways than ever to drive distracted, finding a way to limit distractions from apps like Snapchat and Pokemon Go is the next step. Regulators feel the tech industry should play a part in cutting back in distracted driver incidents.

Read Girl Dies After Posting ‘Facebooking and Driving Not Safe’.

In the past forty years there has been a steady decline in highway deaths. Last year was the first year where an increase has been seen, with that increase being the largest increase in 50 years. This year is already on track to be last year with an increase from January to June of 10.4 percent from 2015. That equates to 17,775 deaths.

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See Boyfriend Shares Final Texts with Girlfriend to Send Message about Texting While Driving.

Other changes the regulators are suggesting include outright blocking some apps like Twitter or Snapchat. Blocking videos, distracting graphics and scrolling text would also be included. They do not want users to be able to use the keyboard to text or send emails. Driver mode would be enabled manually or through an automatic pairing with the vehicle’s infotainment system. They see these changes as greatly reducing the number of auto accidents and fatalities that occur each year.

The current state laws banning handheld phones while driving are not enough, especially since it is so hard for law enforcement to enforce the laws. The government knows they can’t force tech companies to comply.

Do you think the tech companies should comply? Tell us in the comment below.

To learn more about regulations on tech companies, read Drones Allowed to Be Flown Commercially Starting Today.



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