You really can’t fix stupid. The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration has announced new voluntary distracted driving guidelines for automakers and others. The new recommendations call for the elimination of moving maps inside a vehicle. Apparently, some idiots behind the wheel are simply too stupid to have a moving map and drive at the same time without staring at the map instead of the road.
The guidelines say the quasi-static maps are acceptable, but continuously moving maps are not recommended. A quasi-static map according to the NHTSA is one that is updated as often as every few seconds but doesn’t continuously move. How exactly a map with a delay of a few seconds is construed as safer than one that moves all the time is beyond me.
The guidelines also recommend the elimination of automatically scrolling text. The guidelines say that an acceptable alternative would be limited amounts of static quasi-static text. Most GPS systems in vehicles have text that scrolls to identify exits and long street names. I don’t like the idea of this at all, but at least these recommendations are not requirements. I hope these changes aren’t implemented broadly because I don’t think the suggestions of the NHTSA will be any more effective at keeping morons from being distracted than what we have now.