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New Guidelines to Limit Distracted Driving

By Hardwick & Pendergast, P.S. on May 9, 2013

Seattle Distracted Driving CrashThe National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is attempting to limit the number of in-vehicle distractions. According to The Detroit News, NHTSA released new guidelines on April 30 that discourage auto manufacturers from installing certain in-car Internet browsing devices. The U.S. Transportation Department is advising against installing devices that display web page content and text messages.

Automakers have requested and received a buffer of three years before the voluntary guidelines take effect. NHTSA does not expect existing vehicle models that have these distracting devices to undergo revisions within the next couple of years. However, the agency suggests that it is acceptable to display maps or location information, but photorealistic images, 3D images, web pages, books, periodicals, and texts are too distracting.

It is important that the NHTSA and auto manufacturers work together to limit distracted driving, because the number of distraction-related crashes in the United States is staggering. NHTSA reports that 3,331 people were killed in the year 2011 in crashes involving distracted driving. That is a substantial increase from the 3,092 distraction-related deaths that occurred in 2010. It also means that 10 percent of all traffic deaths in the year 2011 involved a distracted driver. The overall number of distracted driver crashes, however, decreased from 900,000 in 2010 to 826,000 in 2011.

If a distracted driver has injured you or a loved one, it would be in your best interest to discuss your legal options with an experienced Seattle car accident attorney. Financial compensation may be available for your medical bills, pain and suffering, lost wages, the cost of rehabilitation services, and other related damages.

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