Safely Using a Cell Phone while Driving
Written by Lee Wyatt (last updated May 27, 2010)
Just about everyone seems to have a cell phone in today's society. In fact, according to some recent data, roughly 89% of adults in the United States have a cell phone and use it regularly. A rash of new laws across America reflects this, since more and more states are passing laws that designate cell phone usage while driving as a form of distracted or impaired driving.
States such as California, Connecticut and New Jersey all have bans that prohibit the use of all cell phones while driving unless in the case of some emergency. As many as seventeen states have passed laws that prohibit the use of cell phones by novice drivers and a similar number of states also prohibit the use of cell phones by school bus drivers. With such laws being passed, the safest thing to do when it comes to using a cell phone while driving is simple—don't do it. However, if you find yourself either unwilling or incapable of putting down that phone, then there are a few things that you can do to be a little more careful and safe when driving and talking.
- Hands-free. Many cell phones either come with, or have available, hands-free headsets that you can use when talking. These units are basically a simple little earphone and microphone set up that you can talk into, instead of having to pick up the phone itself. Often these units have a little button that you can push, on the microphone, that is going to allow you to answer the phone. Such units are the best things to use if you have to talk while driving. It allows you to focus more of your attention towards where it should be.
- Bluetooth/OnStar/Synch. These are an upgrade of the hands-free technology just mentioned. Essentially these are the same thing, but with a few differences. These systems allow you to hook your cell phone up to the car itself, allowing you to hear through the radio, or a completely wireless headset, your conversation. Most, if not all, of these systems are truly hands-free and rely on voice recognition software. While these are more expensive, they are orders of magnitude more safe than normal hands-free or normal cell phone usage.
- Texting. While you are driving do not text at all! In some states, it is even illegal. Most people while they are texting have to look at the cell phone, and if you do then you are removing your eyes from the road and cannot see if anything bad is going to happen.
- Use the Off button. The safest option of all is to just turn the phone off while driving.
Contributor of numerous Tips.Net articles, Lee Wyatt is quickly becoming a regular "Jack of all trades." He is currently an independent contractor specializing in writing and editing. Contact him today for all of your writing and editing needs! Click here to contact. Learn more about Lee...
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