Posted by: Salvatore J. Zambri, founding member andpartner
U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood has long advocated educating the
public about the dangers of distracted driving and getting states to pass
laws restricting cellphone calls and text messaging. He emphasizes the
need for personal responsibility on the part of all drivers. "We
started this campaign three years ago when no one was taking about distracted
driving." Now more states are passing laws aimed at reducing distracted
driving. "We’ve made a lot of progress. This is our continued
Newly proposed guidelines aimed at preventing distracted driving would
eliminate "infotainment functions" while the car is moving.
In a recent phone conference with reporters, Secretary LaHood addressed
the goals for these new rules:
- "Reduce complexity and task length required by the device.
- Limit device operation to one hand only (leaving the other hand to remain
on the steering wheel).
- Limit individual off-road glances required for device operation to no more
than two seconds.
- Limit unnecessary visual information in the driver’s field of view.
- Limit the amount of manual inputs required for device operation."
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration administrator David Strickland
emphasizes that NHTSA is not against technology, particularly GPS, but
remarks, "We’re trying to make sure if they are used in the
vehicle, they are used in a safe way."
Hearings will be held around the country during the next few months about
the new proposals. Some manufacturers in the auto industry have already
taken steps to limit a vehicle’s electronic devices while the vehicle
is moving in attempt to balance consumer safety with demand. For example,
many new vehicles will not allow the driver to enter a destination into
a navigation device unless the vehicle is stopped. According to the spokesperson for the
Governors Highway Safety Association, “DOT is on the right path. We particularly like the guideline for
disabling devices that text and surf the Internet."
Every year I give presentations to area schools and parents about distracted
driving in an effort to teach young people the importance of driving carefully,
and to empower them to be sure they do not allow others to drive while
distracted, at least not while they are in the car.
If you or your child’s school would like to know more about my presentation,
please let me know. I of course do not charge a fee for it, as it is part
of my volunteer community service program.
Do you have any questions about this post?
About the author:
Mr. Zambri is a board-certified civil trial attorney by the National Board of Trial
Advocates and a Past-President of the Trial Lawyers Association of Metropolitan
Washington, D.C. The association recently named him "Trial Lawyer
of the Year" (2011). He has been rated by
Washingtonian magazine as a "Big Gun" and among the "top
1%" of all lawyers in the Washington metropolitan area. The magazine also describes him as
"one of Washington’s best–most honest and effective lawyers" who specializes in personal injury matters, including automobile accident
claims, premises liability, product liability, medical malpractice, and
work-accident claims. He has successfully litigated multiple cases against
truck and bus companies, the Washington Metropolitan Area transit Authority,
and other automobile owners. His law firm, in fact, has obtained the largest
settlement ever in a personal injury case involving WMATA. Mr. Zambri
has also been acknowledged as one of "The Best Lawyers in America"
by Best Lawyers (2011 edition) and has been repeatedly named a "Super
Lawyer" by Super Lawyer magazine (March/April 2010)– national
publications that honor the top lawyers in America.
If you have any questions about your legal rights, please email
Mr. Zambri at
firstname.lastname@example.org or call him at 202-822-1899.