The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has released non-binding guidelines asking automakers to build electronic devices into vehicles in a way that will not distract drivers, The Washington Post reported.
The NHTSA recommendations urge automakers to limit the number of electronic devices installed in new cars and ensure that Internet-based applications will be disabled when a vehicle is in motion. The guidelines also called for automakers to design navigation devices so that drivers will not have to take their eyes off the road for more than two seconds to select an option, or for more than 12 seconds to enter an address.
The guidelines stemmed from a recent NHTSA study that found that drivers are most likely to be distracted by text messaging, Web browsing and dialing. The study showed that the use of handheld devices tripled a driver's risk of getting into an accident. A different study published the same day by the Texas Transportation Institute found that voice-activated text-messaging devices are equally as distracting as typing on a phone.