Federal government ask cell phone makers to add 'Driver Mode' to phones

Federal government ask cell phone makers to add 'Driver Mode' to phones
Updated: Nov. 23, 2016 at 5:31 PM CST
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(KFVS) - Do you text and drive? You know it's not safe and in some states, it's against the law. Now, the U.S. government is tackling the problem.

Over the last few years, teens have been the subject of stricter penalties when it comes to texting and driving, but now the U.S. government is taking its fight straight to phone makers.

On Wednesday, The U.S. Transportation Department released a list of voluntary guidelines to reduce the number of distracted driver crashes.

The biggest move? Having phone makers add a driver mode to cell phones in order block certain apps while you're behind the wheel.

Some Cape Girardeau drivers said it's a request they wouldn't mind.

"I feel it will be safer," Chris Golighty said. "Especially with teen driving and safety, that way they won't have an option to text and drive."

"I think it's a really good way to keep people from constantly checking Snapchat, Facebook and text messaging because it's just not necessary when you're driving," Jennifer Brown said.

Other suggestions were offered, like disabling the manual text mode on your phone along with blocking certain video entertainment and social media sites.

Brown said she believes anything to keep people more focused on the roads is better for all drivers.

"Vehicles alone are weapons in a way," she said. "They can kill a lot of people if you are not paying attention to what you're doing."

Whether it's Snapchat, Pokemon GO or sending a quick text, studies show highway fatalities grew 10.4 percent last year and 2016 is projected to be even worse.

There are already apps to limit you from using your phones while driving like Apple's Carplay and Google's Android Auto, but safety regulators would like for it to be standard on all phones.

"I think it's great the government cares enough to want to keep everybody in the country safe and knowledgeable on what is proper for driving rules and what isn't," Brown said.

Now safety regulators want to hear your opinion about their voluntary guidelines to make driving more safe.

Click here to submit a comment and check out what other people are saying.

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