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NHTSA Proposes Ban on Texting, Surfing, and In-Car Dialing

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration has proposed new guidelines that would limit the amount of distractions for drivers with “smart” technology built into their vehicles. Those draft guidelines come on the heels of a dramatic increase in distracted driving and would, as summarized by PCmag, block all in-vehicle communications by a driver, such as texting, dialing, web browsing and entering an address in a GPS device by hand.

The published guidelines apply only to systems like Ford's MyTouch, but restrictions on smart phones, tablets and voice-activated controls could be forthcoming.

The restrictions may be needed. As a study cited in the magazine article revealed, 16 percent of all fatal crashes in 2009, and 20 percent of all crashes involving injuries, were caused by distracted driving.

As a Virginia car accident lawyer, I've seen the damage that can be done by distracted driving. Though I can appreciate a new gadget or technology as much as the next person, I admit that the new proposal sounds like a great way to limit distracted driving. We've always had distractions in the car -- whether it was loud music, a crying baby or fast food from the drive-thru -- and we can probably never eliminate distracted driving altogether. But with these guidelines, we'll comer than ever.

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