We’re all guilty. It’s late and you need to call the office before you pick up dinner and the dry cleaning, so you make a few calls and type a few texts. This behavior comes second nature to so many of us, but did you know that driving while texting is often compared to driving while intoxicated? It’s not possible to safely operate a vehicle while operating a cell phone.
That’s why many states have banned texting while driving and some have even banned the use of cell phones without Bluetooth headset devices. Believe it or not, your cell phone can respond to incoming texts and emails for you. Apps like DriveSafe.ly (link: http://www.drivesafe.ly) read text messages and emails aloud in real time and automatically respond with a set of standard, preset messages. Plus, it’s completely hands free and compatible with a wide range of smart phones.
If you must make a call, consider pulling over to the side of the road and putting your hazards on. You may lose a few minutes on the road, but your safety is worth it. If you must take a call in your vehicle, ask the caller if you can call them back once you have safely arrived at your destination. Most people calling you will want you to be safe as well, so don’t think of it as a nuisance, rather, think of it as a way to take care of one another. Many vehicles are equipped with hands-free driving capabilities, which connect your cell phone into your audio system. This is a great tool, but remember that if the conversation becomes too distracting, it’s OK to call back when you’re not driving.
When riding as a passenger, also remember that your loud conversation on a cell phone can also be a distraction to the driver. Be courteous and be aware. You never know if you might save a life by simply denying a call.