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The NHTSA has taken another step forward to combat distracted driving by proposing voluntary guidelines for automobile manufacturers to help minimize in-vehicle driver distraction.  The goal is to balance the technological innovation that consumers want with keeping our roads safe and drivers focused on driving.  The focus is to limit secondary tasks (communications, entertainment, and information gathering etc.) that the agency believes will interfere with a driver's ability to safely control the vehicle.

You can get more detailed information through the NHTSA website and press release:

http://www.nhtsa.gov/About+NHTSA/Press+Releases/U.S.+DOT+Releases+Guidelines+to+Minimize+In-Vehicle+Distractions

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The NHTSA just released Volume 1 of their Safety in Numbers newsletter April 2013 for Distracted Driving awareness month. Some quick stats from their survey indicate that:

  • 1 in 2 drivers answer calls while driving
  • 1 in 4 drivers place calls while driving
  • 3 in 5 young drivers answer calls while driving
  • 1 in 3 young drivers place calls while driving
  • 660,000 drivers talking on hand-held cellphones
    (5% of all American drivers at any given typical daylight moment)
  • 1.18 million drivers (9%) – were using some type of mobile device at a typical daylight moment

See NHTSA Traffic Safety Facts, released in April 2013, for more information and statistics:

http://www-nrd.nhtsa.dot.gov/Pubs/811719.pdf

NHTSA Safety in Numbers newsletter:

http://www.nhtsa.gov/About+NHTSA/Press+Releases/NHTSA+Survey+Finds+660,000+Drivers+Using+Cell+Phones+or+Manipulating+Electronic+Devices+While+Driving+At+Any+Given+Daylight+Moment

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The statement “Distracted Driving is the new DUI” has been used a number of times and now, at least in the province of Saskatchewan, it seems to be the actual case according to a recent article on the number of fatalities in the province for 2012.

Read it on Global News: Global Regina | Distracted drivers outnumber impaired drivers: a first for Saskatchewan 

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