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Disabling phone features while behind the wheel

As part of its Driver's Distraction Guidelines, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has published a voluntary set of regulations that would encourage cellphone manufacturers to disable a number of features in their devices when a user is driving. The goal of the recommendations is to cut down on distracted driving, which is a significant cause of Georgia car and truck accidents.

The NHTSA has suggested that the locked down version of the phone would only allow drivers to use emergency features. Motorists would not be able to view photos or videos except for maps, and text for reading, scrolling text and the Internet would be disabled.

The main obstacle right now is determining if someone in a moving vehicle is a passenger or a driver. Therefore, manual activation would be required for the system to work. However, the NHTSA expects that new technologies will make this distinction possible, and in the near future, the lockdown could become automatic.

When commercial truck drivers aren't focused on the road, the damage of a resulting collision can be devastating to occupants of other vehicles that are involved. A primary reason for this is the sheer size of semi trucks, which are allowed by law to have a gross weight of up to 80,000 pounds. Truck drivers who cause an accident due to their being distracted by a cellphone or another device could be held financially responsible along with their employers for the resulting injuries to others. Attorneys who are representing victims could review the cellphone records to see if the accident occurred at or near the time that the collision took place.

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