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US Department of Transportation posts guidelines for reducing in-car distractions

Jon Fingas, @jonfingas
April 24, 2013
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We all know by now that directly interacting with a phone while driving is a very bad idea. There are many more potential distractions at play in a car, however, and the US Department of Transportation has just published the first phase of guidelines to help infotainment device and vehicle makers keep drivers' eyes on the road. Many of them are logical recommendations for avoiding text, video and the web while on the move, although the federal agency suggests curbs that would surprise those with cutting-edge rides. While the DOT agrees that hands-free calls are safer, it still sees an added degree of risk from using them; it's not a big fan of GPS systems that introduce 3D or photorealism, either, as they potentially distract from the navigation at hand. The current guidelines aren't hard and fast rules, but it's clear the DOT will be watching companies closely -- and when the advice is just one part of a three-part series, we'd expect close scrutiny of phones and other mobile devices before too long.

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