DOT to automakers: Put the brakes on social media in cars

LaHood said that BMW has agreed to launch a public service announcement campaign to discourage not just texting, but tweeting or Facebooking, behind the wheel. Subaru has made a similar agreement, the newspaper reported.

LaHood has made minimizing the use of cellphones in cars a signature of his tenure as Transportation secretary.

Last week, he praised Maine for becoming the 33rd state to ban texting while driving.

"Distracted driving kills thousands of people every year on our roads and injures hundreds of thousands more,” LaHood said Friday in a statement. “By signing this tough texting ban into law … Gov. LePage has taken a crucial step to improve safety and save lives on Maine roads."

He admitted to The Wall Street Journal, however, that the trend toward computerization in cars opened up a new front in his fight against distracted driving.

"We know people are hooked on cellphones and texting devices," he told the paper.