New safety guidelines aim to curb distracted driving

In what appears to be an effort to reduce the number of fatal accidents on roadways in West Virginia and elsewhere across the country, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has proposed a new set of guidelines regarding cell phone use while behind the wheel. According to an NHTSA official, distracted driving is a contributing factor in a recent rise in the number of traffic fatalities nationwide.

The administration is committed to working with the mobile communications industry in order to keep drivers' eyes off their electronic devices and focused on the road. Phase 2 of NHTSA's Driver Distraction Guidelines comprises the new set of proposed guidelines, which are voluntary as of early 2017. An earlier phase concerned only systems or devices that are built into vehicles during the manufacturing process.

The new guidelines involve device pairing and the development of a "driver mode," which would lock out many phone functions when the user is driving. Because technology cannot yet differentiate between a passenger and a driver, manual activation seems to be the best option for implementation until advances are gained that would allow the mode to be automatically activated.

Commercial vehicles that are involved in truck accidents may cause serious personal injury to other drivers on a noticeable scale. However, the number of deadly crashes could potentially be reduced once the new NHTSA guidelines are widely in play. Regardless, a victim who suffers serious injuries or other losses due to the negligence of a distracted driver may be entitled to financial compensation from all liable parties.

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