Tech Companies and Feds Fight Distracted Driving

So, you get on a plane. During taxi, takeoff and landing, they tell you to turn off your phone, or put them in airplane mode. That’s because they want nothing to block them from the electricity they need for a safe flight. So frankly, you don’t want to block their electricity, either. Now, tech companies and Feds fight distracted driving.

The US Federal Government urges smartphone companies to block apps while behind the wheel. This will keep the driver’s attention where it belongs: on the road! This proposal comes from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Distracted driving is almost as bad as driving drunk or high driving. And with more apps and features to tempt us, distracted driving won’t go away anytime soon.

This concerns N.H.T.S.A. Secretary Anthony Foxx. “Too many people are dying and being injured on our roadways,” he said. He wants smartphone makers to build software that limits phone functions while the driver is driving. The proposal took place just earlier this week. So we don’t really know how tech companies will do this. We don’t even know if smartphone makers will even comply. But something needs to happen. For example, car accident deaths increased nearly 11% in 2016. This year saw the biggest number of traffic deaths in 50 years.

I see this with my own eyes. One time, while walking the streets of Boston, I had to pull a friend back. This was while the walk sign was in our favor. But the driver had no way of knowing that; he was texting while driving. Just a couple of weeks ago, another driver narrowly avoided an accident. That’s because the other driver was texting directions while driving. I hope automated voice services like Suri help turn this disturbing trend around. But it all starts with you. Don’t text and drive! Keep your eyes on the road! Is that text, or that Pokemon Go game worth your life and your health?

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