How to Avoid Using a Smartphone While Driving
According to a study by Zendrive, drivers use their phones on 88 percent of trips taken in a vehicle. Using a smartphone for more than two seconds can increase a person’s crash risk by 20 percent. Therefore, it may be beneficial to implement strategies that help you avoid using a smartphone while driving.
Don’t Bring the Phone With You
While this may seem like an extreme suggestion, it could be possible to get by without having a phone for a few minutes while going to get groceries or running other quick errands. In the event that you need to call somebody, it may be possible to ask to borrow another motorist’s phone. You could also go inside of a grocery store, doctor’s office or any other public location and ask to use the phone. By keeping your phone at home, you may also experience the sense of calm and freedom that go along with not having to be constantly connected.
Turn the Phone Off
By turning the phone off, you won’t be distracted by an incoming text message or phone call. This can be effective during short trips to the store, to school or to a medical appointment when you don’t need to check your phone until arriving at your destination. It can also be a good strategy to use if you aren’t expecting a call or otherwise don’t need to use your phone for any reason.
Disable the Phone While the Car Is Moving
Most major smartphone and smartphone network providers have apps or settings that allow a phone to be disabled while a car is in motion. If someone attempts to text or call a phone in a moving vehicle, that person will receive a message saying that the driver is unavailable. The person sending the text or making the call can then choose to leave a message that can be heard or seen once the car stops moving.
Apps that disable smartphones in moving vehicles may be ideal for parents of teen drivers. By limiting how a phone can be used, teens are less likely to take their eyes off of a busy intersection in favor of responding to a Facebook or text message.
Keep the Phone Hidden
If you can’t see your phone, then you may have less of an inclination to want to check it for missed calls or new messages. For example, you could put the phone in a briefcase or handbag that’s placed in the backseat of the vehicle. You could also put it in a locked glove box or center console.
To access the phone, it would be necessary to reach behind the driver’s seat or take other steps that most people would hesitate to take while operating a moving vehicle.
Check the Phone Before Leaving
If you need to stay informed about what your kids, friends or colleagues are doing, check your social media pages before you start driving. In the event that you discover a conversation or something else that captures your interest, you can send a message or otherwise engage with it before starting the car. Those who tend to lose track of time when on social media or when using their phones in general can set a timer. After it goes off, the phone goes into a locked compartment until arriving home or at the next destination.
Hands-Free Devices Don’t Eliminate the Distraction
While you may think that using a hands-free device can make it safer to use a phone while driving, this isn’t backed by any scientific evidence. When you make a phone call or respond to a text with your voice, your brain is split between focusing on the road and focusing on the conversation.
This means that you’re still distracted when you engage in a conversation whether or not you physically have a phone in your possession. In some cases, using a hands-free device can be just as bad as using a phone. This is because you may still struggle to hit the right button on your steering wheel when a call comes in or struggle to find the correct button to end a call.
Hiring a car accident lawyer may provide you with the legal advice you need after an accident. Contact RAM Law today for more information or to schedule a consultation with our personal injury attorney.