NATIONAL HIGHWAY TRAFFIC SAFETY ADMINISTRATION (TRUCK DRIVERS) / National Highway Traffic Safety Administration issues nonbinding, voluntary Driver Distraction Guidelines (NHTSA Guidelines) to promote safety by discouraging the introduction of excessively distracting devices in vehicles.

“Visual-Manual NHTSA Driver Distraction Guidelines for In-Vehicle Electronic Devices”

April 26, 2013. Notice of Federal Guidelines

“This notice announces the issuance of the final version of the first phase of the NHTSA Guidelines. This first phase applies to original equipment (OE) in-vehicle electronic devices used by the driver to perform secondary tasks (communications, entertainment, information gathering, navigation tasks, etc. are considered secondary tasks) through visual-manual means (i.e., the driver looks at a device, manipulates a device-related control with his or her hand, and/or watches for visual feedback). 

“The NHTSA Guidelines list certain secondary tasks believed by the agency to interfere inherently with a driver’s ability to safely control the vehicle. The NHTSA Guidelines recommend that in-vehicle devices be designed so that they cannot be used by the driver to perform these inherently distracting secondary tasks while driving. For all other visual-manual secondary tasks, the NHTSA Guidelines specify a test method for measuring eye glance behavior during those tasks. Eye glance metrics are compared to acceptance criteria to evaluate whether a task interferes too much with driver attention, rendering it unsuitable for a driver to perform while driving. If a task does not meet the acceptance criteria, the NHTSA Guidelines recommend that the task be made inaccessible for performance by the driver while driving. In addition, the NHTSA Guidelines contain several recommendations to limit and reduce the potential for distraction associated with the use of OE in-vehicle electronic devices.” 

MOTOR CARRIER (FEDERAL MOTOR VEHICLE SAFETY STANDARDS) / The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration issues a final rule that updates and consolidates all references to the many standards and practices that are incorporated by reference into the Federal motor vehicle safety standards (“FMVSS’s”) – including those that address truck-related air brake systems.

“On January 6, 2012, NHTSA published a final rule updating and consolidating all of the references to the many standards and practices that are incorporated by reference into the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSSs). Additionally, the final rule removed an obsolete FMVSS, No. 208a, as well as various obsolete provisions in other FMVSSs.”

“This document adds a cross-reference to Section 571.5 in FMVSS No. 121, Air Brake Systems, and makes minor corrections to the citation format of two ASTM standards incorporated by reference. This document also deletes an extra period in FMVSS No. 209, Seat Belt Assemblies.”

“Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards; Matters Incorporated by Reference”

April 12, 2013. Final rule; Response to Petition for Reconsideration; Technical Corrections.