How to Reduce the Risks of Cell Phone Use While Driving

How to Reduce the Risks of Cell Phone Use While Driving

Image by Reynaldo Amadeu Dal Lin Junior Juba from Pixabay

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The cell phone has become central to our lives. And why not? It connects us with the world, helps us in finding information, and serves as an important aid in times of emergencies.

But, every form of technology has its bane when not used aptly.

Did you know that distracted driving owing to the use of mobile phones has claimed over 3000 lives in 2020 in the US? Texting while driving is found to be one of the main reasons for these accidents.

Using cell phones while driving not just diverts the drivers’ attention off the road but also makes them miss crucial road signs and warnings. This can lead to serious road accidents.

Moreover, according to a study by Carnegie Mellon University, using a cell phone while driving reduces the amount of brain activity by 37%. This may cause the driver to weave out of their lane.

Hence, to ensure safety, it is important that drivers restrict the use of cell phones while driving.

In this blog, we will understand how to limit phone distraction while driving and ultimately reduce the risks of unfortunate accidents.

1. Turn off the Phone When Driving

The most effective way to prevent phone distraction while driving is by turning it off.

Our minds are trained to pick up phones after hearing the ringtone or notification. That is why it is difficult to ignore it altogether while driving. Putting the phone off keeps you from getting distracted, ensuring you focus on the road.

However, if the nature of your work is such that you need to be available on the phone or you are expecting an urgent call, it is ideal to take a break or use a hands-free device. We will talk about this in the upcoming points.

2. Take Breaks to Check Urgent Messages

Avoiding cell phones altogether isn’t a feasible option, especially in this age of FOMO (fear of missing out) where everyone wants to stay connected and updated. That’s why taking a break when driving to check urgent messages or answer important calls makes sense.

If you are on a highway, it’s wise to drive towards a safe location to respond to a call or an urgent message.

Besides, avoid receiving calls that need a lot of your focus. For instance, a sales discussion with your peers or a heated conversation with a friend or a family member. Such calls can significantly increase the risk of accidents, thereby risking the well-being of your fellow passengers, pedestrians, and other vehicles.

If you are traveling with someone, ask them to help you respond to the call. Voice mails are also handy tools for drivers. Consider adding a voice mail greeting for those calls, thus informing your callers that you are on the road.

Here are a few examples –

  • I’m driving right now. I will be able to get back to you in an hour. Please leave me a message. Thank you.

OR

  • This my voice mailbox. I am driving right no; hence, I cannot receive calls or read messages. Please leave me a message and I will return your call during my scheduled driving break. Thanks!

3. When Using Maps, Mount the Phone on the Windshield

Using maps for navigating through a city, known or unknown is quite popular. But you don’t want to land up hitting the vehicle ahead or a pedestrian in the process.

Invest in a phone mount to drive through the town without getting lost or risking lives.  These mounts aren’t pricey and can easily hold your phone on the car windshield or in line with your eye level.

Most car rentals and cabs use such mounts to keep themselves and their riders safe.

4. Use Apps to  Block/Divert Calls When Driving

One of the most certain ways to eliminate the distraction is via mobile apps that turn off the notifications when driving. These applications give you uninterrupted access to essentials like maps for seamless navigation while saving you from other distractions of calls or notifications.

Some of the most common apps are:

  • Driving Detective
  • Drivemode
  • LifeSaver
  • Drive Safe
  • SafeDrive
  • Milez

iPhones (iOS 11 or later) have a special feature that automatically detects

motion or Bluetooth connection with the car and turns on DND while driving mode on. This can be configured in the phone settings.

Final Thoughts

Cell phones can be deadly if used when driving. An excellent way to keep everyone safe is by minimizing these distractions. Use the tips mentioned in this blog when on the road and keep safe and drive safely every day.

 

Aliza Vigderman is the director of content at AutoInsurance.com, overseeing all content on the site. Previously, she worked as an industry analyst and senior editor at Security.org, a site covering home and digital security. She has also worked as a freelance writer at SquareFoot, Degreed, and The Huffington Post. Her background is in journalism, which she studied at Brandeis University.

About The Author

Aliza Vigderman

avigderman@autoinsurance.com
https://www.autoinsurance.com/

Aliza Vigderman is the director of content at AutoInsurance.com, overseeing all content on the site. Previously, she worked as an industry analyst and senior editor at Security.org, a site covering home and digital security. She has also worked as a freelance writer at SquareFoot, Degreed, and The Huffington Post. Her background is in journalism, which she studied at Brandeis University.

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