As workload overwhelms, cars are set to intervene

April 8, 2013

(Credit: Osvaldo Gago/Wikimedia Commons)

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has issued voluntary accessory-design guidelines in an effort to reduce distraction, but given consumers’ hunger for gadgets, managing those distractions to reduce workload may prove a better solution, The New York Times reports.

The overload of inputs, perhaps amplified by foul weather or a demanding toddler, presents a real challenge to the driver — and a danger to all road users.  NHTSA estimates that distraction and inattention contribute to 20 to 30 percent of reported crashes.

The study of driver workload management — some would point to the irony in this reaction to a situation partly created by automakers themselves — is progressing alongside the efforts of the planners who dream up new generations of infotainment features….