Author Box
Articles Categories
All Categories
Articles Resources

Legislation Encourages Safer Driving Through Technology Innovation

January 22, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 113

Beginning in January 2012, commercial drivers are prohibited from use of hand-held cellphones and new requirements are going into place concerning texting while driving - and new vehicle technology is actually helping all drivers to drive more safely.

A joint rule from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) is the latest action endorsed by the U.S. Department of Transportation that aims to end distracted driving. This federal ban on cell phone took effect January 3, 2012. Legislators from many states are trying to get these laws extended to all drivers in all states.

In recent months major truck and bus companies, such as Greyhound, Wal-Mart, UPS, Conoco-Phillips and others, have changed their policies to ban their drivers from using hand-held cell phones, to make and receive phone calls, or for texting. In other words, talk or text on a cellphone while driving and you could lose your job.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) research in 2009 more than 5,400 people died and a half a million were injured in crashes involving a distracted driver. The NHTSA also noted that distraction-related fatalities represented 16 percent of the overall traffic fatalities in 2009.

In the past few years, most automobile companies have been developing in-vehicle technology so they can offer Bluetooth hands-free in-vehicle communications. The whole idea is to keep the driver's eyes on the road and their hands on the wheel. Although an option for most vehicles, more and more drivers are demanding it from their vehicles.

Ford Motor Company goes further by having an app (911 Assist) that assists emergency personnel. Their hands-free infotainment system, called Sync, was co-developed with help from Microsoft. With Sync, if the "paired" phone is on and active and the vehicle is involved an accident that triggers the airbags, then it automatically makes the system dial the closest 911 dispatcher. It relays the latitude, longitude and altitude plus it opens the microphone so the dispatcher can speak with occupants of the car.

Depending on the cellphone, some users of Ford's Sync system can also have their text messages, interpreted and read back to them by the system. With the Sync system, a driver can receive and even send back text messages via voice (albeit a short list of canned messages). Ford and Microsoft use the MAP protocol with SMS messaging. Some Android based phones and some Blackberry phones can send and receive text messages through the Sync system. This allows drivers to stay more focused on the road. Currently Apple engineers are not complying with this protocol and so Apple iPhone users cannot use the text-to-voice functions (unless they are using the new iPhone 4s with Siri). Siri, a voice-operated assistant, can be accessed through Sync and she will find and read text messages and play tehm back through the vehicle's sound system.

As more vehicle manufacturers expand the Bluetooth capabilities of their vehicles, then more and more drivers will have the opportunity to avoid using their handheld cellphones while driving. Hopefully this ban will reduce the number of fatalities from distracted drivers.

In fact, the automotive insurance industry is already listing ten safety features they think all new car buyers should be looking for in their next vehicle. The list includes:

Intelligent Cruise Control - This helps your vehicle maintain a safe distance from cars ahead of it.

Lane Drifting Warning - This helps drivers who have inadvertently drifted out of their lane and could be going into another lane or going off the road. The constant monitoring keeps drivers on their toes.

Tire Pressure Monitoring - This is now required by the NHTSA on all vehicles built since 2008. Helps alert drivers if a tire is over- or under-inflated.

Rear View Cameras - When the car's transmission is placed in reverse it automatically displays a view on a monitor to let the driver see what's behind them.

Blind Spot Detection - Sensors at the rear of the vehicle alert the driver so they can safely make lane changes.

Adaptive Headlights - These do more than ordinary headlights to make it easier for drivers to see what's ahead or around the corner.

Intelligent Airbag Sensors - Using spontaneous sensors, the vehicle determine which airbags need to be fired and at what speed to keep drivers safe in a collision.

Emergency Response Systems - In addition to calling 911 for assistance, this system shuts of the fuel delivery system, disconnects the battery from the alternator, turns on interior lights and unlocks the doors.

Rollover Prevention - Complicated sensors detect a rollover in progress and fire off appropriate airbags and other defenses to keep occupants safe.

Night Vision Assistance - Vehicle equipped with this have infrared sensors that can look further ahead on the road to detect people or animals that might be difficult to see.

So safe driving can be enhanced with increased driver awareness, safer roads, tougher traffic laws and vehicles built with better technology.

Vincent Hennigan listens to dozens of vehicle owners every week to hear what works and what doesn't work with their vehicle technologies. Visit my weblog at to check for helpful articles. Leave a question at if you have questions or need assistance.

Source: EzineArticles
Was this Helpful ?

Rate this Article

Article Tags:

Text Messaging


Blind Spot


Lane Drifting


911 Assist

If you have problems in maintaining your used Sacramento Ford car model, then this is the right time to approach the Ford auto repairing mechanic to get things fixed in time. This is to ensure that

By: Nick Pruett l Automotive > Classic Cars l April 03, 2013 lViews: 599

This article is written about a company offering stunning range of mopeds and eco friendly scooters at affordable prices . Gas powered scooters are the perfect means of transport if you want to

By: Mark Claint l Automotive > Motorcycles l December 23, 2012 lViews: 592

The Mahindra bikes are the top most important and supposed developed company in India, which is productively liability their business in the Indian auto market with its dealership networks across the

By: Wilson Roy l Automotive > Motorcycles l December 03, 2012 lViews: 269

CARTATTS, a design driven, boutique studio with a passion for cars and design have launched their first release of tattoo inspired, custom-designed, high quality decals. CARTATTS is the brainchild of

By: AlanRichard l Automotive > Car Detailing Customization l December 02, 2012 lViews: 254

When it comes to going on a road trip, the drive there can sometimes end up being a bit boring. Though you might have a fantastic time once you arrive at your holiday destination, if there is a long

By: Alan Trotter l Automotive > Mobile Audio Video l November 24, 2012 lViews: 419

Hero impulse is the design of Hero group, after the Hero and Honda group sidelined. The company has introduced its extremely first bike in the market dubbed like Hero impulse. It is an outstanding

By: Wilson Roy l Automotive > Motorcycles l November 19, 2012 lViews: 395

When it comes to going on a road trip, the drive there can sometimes end up being a bit boring. Though you might have a fantastic time once you arrive at your holiday destination, if there is a long

By: Alan Trotterl Automotive > Mobile Audio Videol November 24, 2012 lViews: 419

If you've read about Steve Jobs, you would surely know about typography. How he managed to make typography a part of computers we use today. It is as though, one of the finest arts of making words

By: Rachel Vicel Automotive > Mobile Audio Videol May 27, 2012 lViews: 174

Getting your car fitted with GPS navigation system is a sensible idea. It is indeed a need rather than a luxury. Fitting GPS navigation makes it easy for you to locate fuel refilling station, finding

By: Nate Rodnayl Automotive > Mobile Audio Videol May 21, 2012 lViews: 185

It's fascinating to think about how far and fast car radio technology has evolved. You can't even really just call it "car radio" anymore, because it includes so much more than that.

By: Jim Sorensonl Automotive > Mobile Audio Videol May 16, 2012 lViews: 186

While traffic fatalities have reached a record low cell phone related accidents are on the rise. As phone technology grows, automakers struggle with ways to make them safer in while in the car. Here

By: Aiden Jeffersonl Automotive > Mobile Audio Videol May 11, 2012 lViews: 198

If you're planning on enjoying this summer's beautiful weather out on the water, make sure your boat is ready with the best marine audio electronics before the warm temperatures arrive. Take your

By: Penny Q Jonesl Automotive > Mobile Audio Videol May 09, 2012 lViews: 211

Paying attention to the road while driving is imperative for safety, however, many people believe they can safely take on even more distractions due to the increase in vehicle technology. For years

By: Vincent Henniganl Automotive > Mobile Audio Videol March 21, 2012 lViews: 138

Let's face it, most car manufacturers are quickly bringing smartphone technology to our vehicle dashboards. Some of us are not sure how to use these systems. This is a workshop focusing on some

By: Vincent Henniganl Automotive > Mobile Audio Videol February 21, 2012 lViews: 147

The integration of technology in today's vehicles is moving at an alarming pace for some drivers, and yet it may take years before it's all taken for granted. It's strange to think of it in this way,

By: Vincent Henniganl Automotive > Mobile Audio Videol February 13, 2012 lViews: 144

There can be a number of connectivity problems with an iPod touch or iPhone and a vehicle's hands-free Bluetooth system. This is a workshop to see how to solve problems playing Bluetooth music

By: Vincent Henniganl Automotive > Mobile Audio Videol February 01, 2012 lViews: 141

More than five years ago, one of the U.S. domestic automakers introduced a plan to bring Bluetooth-driven technology to the forefront of their vehicles. Since then almost all auto manufacturers are

By: Vincent Henniganl Automotive > Mobile Audio Videol January 31, 2012 lViews: 131

The iPhone 4S and Siri were introduced to the public in Oct. 2011 - Siri, the voice of the iPhone, has met "Samantha," the voice Ford Sync, and they seem to be getting along well. The new iPhone uses

By: Vincent Henniganl Automotive > Mobile Audio Videol January 10, 2012 lViews: 122

Discuss this Article

comments powered by Disqus