Although everyone becomes annoyed with distracted drivers, nearly half of the population admits to either sending text messages or talking on the phone while driving on a regular basis. In addition to posing a risk for accidents, this practice is serious enough of an offense to earn a ticket in many states. Drivers who are ticketed must also face higher insurance premiums. This usually means they can only afford a policy with a higher deductible. Since saving money is hard in this economy, try to follow a few vital tips for phone safety on the road.
1. Use a hands-free device. While most headphone devices are cheap, it is best to invest in a product that does not require the driver to take his or her eyes off the road. Bluetooth is fairly easy to use. There are also several different types of systems available that feature voice-activated dialing and dash mounts for the mobile device. With or without a hands-free system, try to talk as little as possible while driving.
2. Avoid looking to see who is calling. The easiest way to avoid the temptation of looking away from the road is to install a special app. Mr. Number and similar filtering apps allow people to block specific numbers, avert certain calls to voice mail or block incoming texts. This provides less distraction on the road. It also allows the driver to only allow important calls, so there is no need to look before answering. Be sure to use a hands-free device for talking.
3. Install a text blocker. There are many free apps available that block SMS messages. Some are designed for parents to install on their teens’ phones. Several apps are designed for anyone to use. Most apps and software programs shut off the phone’s signal or SMS capabilities while the car is in motion.
4. Hang up the phone if the road conditions are bad. Construction, snow, rain and traffic are all good reasons to say goodbye to the caller on the other end. Such conditions require drivers to pay attention to the road and the surrounding situations. Trying to add a third task will heighten the chance of an accident.
5. Take advantage of the vehicle’s convenient features. Most modern vehicles come with cruise control and many other beneficial features. Although the main goal should be keeping the call short, be sure to use any applicable safety features to avoid distractions. For example, setting the cruise control on an open highway allows the driver to focus on the road instead of speed.
Mixing driving with cell phone activity is a risky practice. If everyone puts forth the effort to make the road a safer place, the number of accidents will decrease. However, this type of safety requires consistency. Develop a habit of initiating a call-blocking software or a safe hands-free device before putting the car in drive mode.
Insurance consultant Charlie Sullivan writes for autoinsurance.info, a site where you can find everything from Auto Insurance Companies in Missouri to the best deals for Car Insurance Companies in Arizona.