Federal Regulators Want "Driving Mode" for Smartphones - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Federal Regulators Want "Driving Mode" for Smartphones

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DOVER, Del. -- The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration said last week that wants the makers of smartphones to create a driving mode that blocks people from using some apps while they are behind the wheel of a car.

The recently announced recommendations call for the implementation of a feature that is similar to the "Airplane Mode" found on many smartphones. It would block or modify access to some applications once activated. Officials said the number of deaths in the country related to distracted driving reached at least 3,500 last year.

William Benton of Dover, who frequently rides his bicycle along major highways like U.S. Route 13, said he likes the idea because he sees too many people using their smartphones while driving.

"It's a little bit scary because I ride near the highway about three feet from a car," he said.

One of the reasons why federal regulators are so concerned is because many apps on smartphones require users to do more than just press a button or two, something that could distract them from the roads long enough to cause a crash.

Martin Boaman of Dover said he regularly sees drivers who use smartphones on highways or the interstate. He supports the recommendations to limit smartphone activity on the road.

"I'm a little bit concerned about overreaching with what the government does and doesn't do and certainly using a phone while driving is not safe," he said.

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