Apple iPhones and Google Android Devices may soon disable certain apps while motor vehicles are in motion. Federal Auto Safety Regulators want makers of these devices to add a driving mode that blocks certain apps from use forcing a driver to keep their attention on the road.
The new proposed regulations come via voluntary guidelines that will be issued by the Nation Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Such changes are intended to improve car safety, where texting and driving has caused a number of vehicular accidents. “Your smartphone becomes so many different things that it’s not just a communication device,” Anthony Foxx, secretary of the Transportation Department, said in an interview. “Distraction is still a problem. Too many people are dying and being injured on our roadways.”
Although phones currently have an airplane mode, making them safer for pilot’s wireless communication systems, they do not yet have such a feature for driving in motor vehicles. Although the new regulations do not force companies to comply with the rules, in the past, carmakers have voluntary complied with them—disabling such things as watching movies on displays while driving. These new proposed regulations come as fatalities rose 7.1 percent in the last calendar year—the biggest single annual percentage change in 50 years.