US expected to seek limits on car touchscreens

April 23, 2013 6:30:32 PM PDT
U.S. traffic safety regulators are expected to propose stronger measures to keep drivers from being distracted by in-car touchscreens.

Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Administrator David Strickland have scheduled a news conference for Tuesday afternoon to address distracted driving.

Auto industry officials are expecting voluntary limits on the number of times a driver can push touch screen buttons while a vehicle is moving. Industry guidelines now limit that to 10 touches or a total of 20 seconds.

A spokeswoman for the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers says the government has discussed a limit of six touches or 12 seconds. The alliance is concerned that the regulations will encourage the use of mobile devices while driving.

New research also suggests it's just as unsafe to use a voice-to-text mobile app while driving as it is to text manually.

The Texas Transportation Institute found that driver response times were slower no matter which method of texting was used. Drivers also spent less time looking at the road under both texting methods.

The U.S. Department of Transportation says more than 3,300 people were killed and 387,000 injured in distracted-driving crashes in 2011.

ABC7 News contributed to this report.


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