KNOXVILLE, TN (PRWEB) July 29, 2014
Personal Injury law firm Greg Coleman Law urges the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to regulate all navigation and mapping apps on smartphones. The accident injury attorneys are concerned that if the technology companies that produce the most popular map apps such as Google and Apple successfully lobby against the proposed regulations, driver distraction may lead to more accidents.
“What is at stake is whether the NHTSA’s regulatory and rule-making authority can be extended to the software on smartphones. In a world where software is as critical to safety as hardware, the answer should be an emphatic yes,” notes Greg Coleman, founding attorney at Greg Coleman Law.
As reported by the New York Times on June 15, the NHTSA is proposing to extend regulation of physical navigation systems in vehicles to include GPS apps designed for smartphones.
“We are certain that driver distraction from navigation apps in hand-held devices will contribute to increased car accidents. We believe that it is absolutely vital that the NHTSA evaluate and regulate the impact of navigation apps,” stated Coleman.
Greg Coleman Law asserts that one of the chief reasons to implement the regulation of navigation apps is their ubiquitous nature. In response to the new regulation of built-in GPS systems that are becoming increasingly inoperable while the car is in motion, more and more drivers may turn to their hand-held GPS apps for navigation purposes.
“Sometimes technology outpaces changes in safety regulations. The use of navigation apps is one such case,” said Coleman.
The proposed transportation bill anticipates that technology companies will be able to develop apps without any interference. However, the NHTSA proposes that it will review apps once they are on the market.
The review process is expected to be similar to that used for cars found to be defective based on independent safety reviews by the NHTSA. The agency has suggested that it would tell technology companies to update and alter apps released to the public to address safety concerns.
Though there are existing voluntary guidelines for physical GPS systems in vehicles, the question of whether apps-essentially software- in mobile handsets can be regulated by the NHTSA is unclear. This debate will be settled by a mixture of public policy considerations and the autonomy of technology companies.
In 2013, the NHTSA began to impose voluntary navigation restrictions on physical GPS systems in order to encourage drivers to concentrate on the roads.The regulations were developed in concert with the auto industry and many automakers began to comply by modifying built-in navigation systems. For instance, new navigation systems reduced the amount of time that drivers could interact with the GPS systems while a vehicle was in motion, or forced the systems to be placed in passenger mode in order for new data to be entered in a moving vehicle.
About Greg Coleman Law
A well-respected name in personal injury law, Greg Coleman Law is committed to helping those who have been injured by the actions of another in the state of Tennessee. The personal injury attorneys at Greg Coleman Law have a wealth of knowledge and experience in premises liability, dangerous drug litigation, medical malpractice, product liability claims, ERISA lawsuits and general class action claims.