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DOT recommends two-second rule for on-board equipment

Following months of research, the Department of Transportation has issued new voluntary guidelines that automobile manufacturers could implement to limit the amount of time required to use on-board devices in vehicles. Wisconsin drivers who take their eyes off the road for more than two seconds multiply their chances of getting into a car accident, and changing the way equipment in cars work could help reduce distracted driving accidents.

The guidelines from the DOT address devices that assist drivers, which are usually secondary devices, and those that are likely to distract them from the road. When using secondary devices, individuals should only take their hands from the steering wheel or eyes off the road for two seconds. Instead of having to spend several seconds looking at their dashboard, drivers should be able to glance at electronic devices. Devices that include DVD players as well as access the Internet can keep a driver's attention from the road, so the DOT stated they should only be allowed for use when the vehicle is in park or not moving.

The Transportation Secretary has met with auto manufacturers in the past to express his concerns about the dangers of distracted driving. The DOT would like to see their guidelines put in place within three years. However, these guidelines are not mandatory due to constant innovation that changes how technology works.

Automobile accidents can lead to injury, property damage and even death. If a person has been in a collision due to someone else's distracted driving, they may want to speak with an attorney to find out what their options are.

Source: CNN, "'Two second' safety guideline for cars of the future," Mike M. Ahlers, April 24, 2013

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