I have already told you that I am all about road safety. I recently posted about the AT&T It Can Wait campaign to get the word out and keep us motivated about not texting and driving. The fact of the matter is that for some it is just too tempting to do. The thought is that you can get a lot done during a commute. Technology makes it so. However, it also causes more distractions at a time when your eyes should be on the road and your hands should be on the wheel.
Fortunately both cell phone carriers and car manufacturers are doing more to allow us to actually use technology to cut down on distractions, instead of causing more distractions. Here are a few tips to help you keep on track.
1. Learn the tech in your car: Newer cars can do things like read text messages, answer calls over the speakers, and be controlled by voice. When you get a new car, read the manual! Play with all of the controls before you start driving around. This ensures that you are not fumbling with controls on the road.
2. Pair your phone to your car: In order to be able to make calls, listen to text messages, or control the music from your phone, you need to make your car and phone play nicely together. Depending on your car, this is accomplished by either plugging in your phone via USB (this is usually the case with iPhones), or by pairing your phone via BlueTooth. This allows you to use the buttons on your steering wheel to activate the voice functions, navigate your music library, and more.
3. Install AT&T Drivemode: As mentioned before, if you are bad and you just cannot help but use your phone while driving, AT&T Drivemode can help. Drivemode detects when your car is moving above 25 miles per hour. After that point anyone who texts will receive a reply that you are driving and will get back to them as soon as possible.
4. Wear your Bluetooth earpiece: It is now law in most parts of the US that when driving you MUST use a headset. You cannot just hold your phone up to your face to talk on the phone. Wearing your earpiece allows you to talk while still keeping both hands on the steering wheel where they belong. Or, if you have done #2 (paired your phone), you can take and receive calls right through the speakers of your car. A Bluetooth earpiece is much less intrusive than using the headphones that may have some with your phone. The less cords in the way, the better. And you do not want to keep both ears covered while driving.
5. Relinquish control of your phone: If you are on a road trip and expecting important calls or texts, allow your passenger to monitor your phone. Yes, I know how protective we all are of our devices. However, if you really are waiting on an important piece of info, give your passenger instructions. They can simply tell you who is calling, you can then decide if you want them to answer. The same with texts.
These are just a few tips that may help you control your texting and driving urges and other distractions that smartphones put in our way. How do you keep from texting and driving?
Remember to take the pledge! Head on over to the It Can Wait website and sign up. Not convinced at how dangerous texting and driving can be? Check out the It Can Wait Simulator to see just what can happen.
Disclosure: This post of part of my involvement in the compensated AT&T It Can Wait campaign. All opinions are my own.