Tips on Driving with a Cell Phone
When operating a car, driving is your first responsibility. When using your wireless phone behind the wheel of a car, practice good common sense and remember the following tips:
- Get to know your wireless phone and its features such as speed dial and redial. Carefully read your instruction manual and learn to take advantage of valuable features most phones offer, including automatic redial and memory. Also, work to memorize the phone keypad so you can use the speed dial function without taking attention off the road.
- When available, use a hands-free device. A number of hands-free wireless phone accessories are readily available today. Whether you choose an installed mounted device for your wireless phone or a speaker phone accessory, take advantage of these devices if available to you.
- Position your wireless phone within easy reach. If you get an incoming call at an inconvenient time, if possible, let your voicemail answer it for you.
- Suspend conversations during hazardous driving conditions. Let the person you are speaking with know you are driving; if necessary, suspend the call in heavy traffic. Rain, sleet, snow and ice can be hazardous, but so is heavy traffic. As a driver, your first responsibility is to pay attention to the road.
- Do not take notes or look up phone numbers while driving. If you are reading an address book or business card, or writing a "to-do" list while driving a car, you are not watching where you are going. It is common sense.
- Dial sensibly and assess the traffic; if possible, place calls when you are not moving or before pulling into traffic. Try to plan your call before you begin your trip or attempt to coincide your calls with times you may be stopped at a stop sign or red light. But if you need to dial while driving, follow this simple tip--dial a few numbers, check the road and your mirrors, then continue.
- Do not engage in stressful or emotional conversations that may be distracting. Make people you are talking with aware you are driving and if necessary, suspend conversations which have the potential to divert your attention from the road.
- Use your wireless phone to call for help. Your wireless phone is one of the greatest tools you can own to protect yourself and your family in dangerous situations--with your phone at your side, help is only three numbers away. Dial 911 or other local emergency numbers in the case of fire, traffic accident, road hazard or medical emergency. Remember, it is a free call on your wireless phone!
- Use your wireless phone to help others in emergencies. Your wireless phone provides you a perfect opportunity to be a "Good Samaritan" in your community. If you see an auto accident, crime in progress or other serious emergency where lives are in danger, call 911 or other local emergency numbers, as you would want others to do for you.
- Call roadside assistance or a special wireless non-emergency assistance number when necessary. Certain situations you encounter while driving may require attention, but are not urgent enough to merit a call for emergency services. But you can still use your wireless phone to lend a hand. If you see a broken-down vehicle posing no serious hazard, a broken traffic signal, a minor traffic accident where no one appears injured or a vehicle you know to be stolen, call roadside assistance or another special non-emergency wireless number.