Feds Want to Curb Dashboard Distractions

Dallas auto dealer says customers want the features

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    NEWSLETTERS

    You can send a text, find a good restaurant and even update Facebook – all while driving at 65 mph.

    Digital gadgets built into new cars allow drivers to do plenty, but the U.S. Department of Transportation says it's too much. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration wants carmakers to curb the dashboard distractions on cars.

    On Thursday, it released a summary of suggestions that aren't mandatory. The list includes disabling manual phone number dialing on some car features and Internet surfing while driving.

    The suggestions were based on driver distraction tests. (The 177-page breakdown of the study can be found here.)

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    The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is asking carmakers to disable features that could distract drivers from the road, such as on-board Web browsing.

    But not everyone is on board with the suggestions.

    Greg Tomlin, of Park Cities Ford in Dallas, said customers want the features and know the dangers of using them while driving.

    "People are going to want the technology and want it when they need it," he said. "It's up to the driver to be responsible, responsible to know when to use it."

    Tomlin said restrictions on use of the features could even hurt sales.