NTSB calls for state ban on iPhones and other smartphones in cars
The National Transportation Safety Board [NTSB] has recommended that the American states prohibit any and all non-emergency use of smartphones in automobiles. That's right, they want you to keep your hands and eyes off your iPhone and on the wheel and road. While that might make some superficial sense, it also ignores how multifaceted modern smartphones truly are -- for example, running a GPS turn-by-turn sat nav app, or playing music, the same functionality built into a lot of modern vehicles.
The safety recommendation specifically calls for the 50 states and the District of Columbia to ban the nonemergency use of portable electronic devices (other than those designed to support the driving task) for all drivers. The safety recommendation also urges use of the NHTSA model of high-visibility enforcement to support these bans and implementation of targeted communication campaigns to inform motorists of the new law and heightened enforcement.
The trouble is, smartphones can run software designed to support driving tasks, but they can also run highly distracting software like SMS/IM or Angry Birds.
And, of course, it does nothing to deal with other driver distractions like food, makeup, reading papers while driving, etc. etc. (Sadly it's very touch to draft a "don't be dumb and drive law", so they fall for easy-to-identify blanket bans.)
We're co-opting our sibling site, Android Central's poll on this one, so add your vote above and sound off on what you think below!