A number of studies have shown that it is just as dangerous to use your cell phone driving as it is to drive drunk. Most of my friends have heard these statistics, but continue to talk on the phone while driving anyways.
You need to be aware that driving and chatting on your phone at the same time can lead to an accident. A texting related accident occurs in the United States every 24 seconds. Traffic control officers in many states can also give you a ticket if they catch you. Make sure you understand the risks and know what you can do to minimize the chances of causing an accident or getting fined.
Try to Dedicate Both Hands to Driving
Your odds of getting in an accident increase substantially when you don’t commit both hands to driving. Ideally, you should pull your vehicle over anytime you need to make a call. However, there may be times that you don’t think that is an option. Try to use a speaker phone or Bluetooth accessory so you can use both hands to drive.
Keep Your Eyes on the Road
Keep your eyes on the road at all times. Sending a text message while you are driving is much riskier than talking on the phone. Taking your eyes from the road for even a second can cause an accident and it takes much longer than that to send a text. Pull over if you are going to send a text.
You also don’t want to fiddle around with a cell phone cord while you are driving. Any type of multitasking increases the risks that you are going to get into an accident. Make sure your phone is plugged in before you start driving if you expect you will need to charge it.
Program Your Phone to Minimize the Need to Dial
Program any frequently used numbers into your phone beforehand. You will also want to take advantage of speed dialing to reach people you know you are likely to dial while you are driving. That will minimize the amount of time you need to spend dialing and checking your contacts.
Don’t Take Notes or Messages While Driving
Never write anything down while you are driving. Tell the person that you are talking to that you are going to need to pull your car over if you need to write anything down. You can also ask them to text message you any short messages (such as an address or someone’s phone number), which you can check after you have a chance to pull over.
Always Drive Safely
An estimated 1.2 million accidents are caused by cell phones each year. Minimize these risks by practicing safe driving habits. The best thing you can do is try not to use your phone at all while you are driving. If you insist on using your phone while driving, make sure you keep your calls as short as possible. No phone call is worth getting fined, seriously injured or indicted over.