Written by Joel D. Feldman
NHTSA Director, David Strickland has put auto makers on notice that their efforts to ramp up in-car technology to provide faster internet connections will be strictly scrutinized and that these efforts fly in the face of common sense safety considerations for drivers. US Department of Transportation Secretary, Ray La Hood, the most outspoken champion to reduce distracted driving, stopped short of warning auto makers about adding into vehicles internet connection capabilities, stating that he wanted to wait for studies to provide data as to how much these distractions result in more crashes and injuries and deaths.
He stated that those studies were underway and the results would be in later this year. While the research being conducted will add credibility to efforts to reduce distracted driving there is no doubt that building internet capability into autos can only result in more distractions, more crashes and more injuries and deaths. To those of us personally affected by a distracted driving tragedy adding more technology to autos is madness. Our roads are very dangerous places already—we need to reduce distractions not create them.
What do you think? Have automakers gone too far?