A Car is for Driving Not Texting

How many times do you see someone traveling down the interstate or any road and they have their cell phone glued to their ear? It happens all the time by drivers of all ages. Now with the advent of Blackberries and other smart phones you have people sending e-mails, text messages and looking up things on the Internet when they are supposed to be driving. Still, many states are doing everything they can to curb or eliminate the use of cell phones and smart-phones by drivers.

A number of states have taken the liberty to address that by banning texting, e-mailing, or web surfing by the driver. North Carolinas law, just went into effect the beginning of December 2009. New Jersey, California, New York and a host of other states have varying degrees in regards to texting, placing calls, and what age ranges are affected. Many states flat out ban the use of a cell phone by any driver under the age of 18 or in their first year of driving.

Still, Ken Thornberg for Travelers Insurance claims that in just making or taking a telephone call you are distracted as well. Ken stated that if you take a call you are distracted for 10-15 minutes after the call because you are still thinking about the dialog. If you place a call you are distracted for the same amount of time after the call as you would be if someone called you but you are also distracted thinking about what you are going to talk about and then the action of making the call.

United States military bases require you use a hands-free device when placing or receiving a call while operating a vehicle and on a base.

Lots of people are going to say that their don't like the headsets, or ear pieces. They say that people look pompous or arrogant with them in their ear because they will walk into a store still on a conversation just talking away. Then there is always the excuse of the phone not being blue-tooth enabled and the person not liking the wire. The simple answer is fine, then wait until you are parked to make your phone call. People who have phones that are blue-tooth enabled claim they can't hear in the devices or people can't hear them.  Listen, there are a TON of these devices on the market, do your research and figure out which one is the most comfortable for you and which one works the best.

In many cases if you go to a cell phone dealer and not Walmart they can help you figure out which one is the best for you and they can even let you try them on to make sure you get one that is comfortable.  They come in all different price ranges from $15 to over $100. Motorola actually makes a blue-tooth speaker that connects to your visor that is as clear as if you were holding the phone to your ear, but that runs around $100.

Still, $100 for a hands free device isn't that bad, is it? Think about it this way, you pay $100 for a hands-free device and now both of your hands are free to drive and you are not distracted if you absolutely have to take that phone call by holding the phone compared to getting into an accident and having to pay higher insurance rates for the next 3 years.

People just forget a car is a device intended to get a person or people from point "A" to point "B." In this day and age though people have start to think that their car is just an extension of their office and time in the car is lost productivity. News flash people, if you get in an accident on company time, even if it is in your personal vehicle and it is your fault the other party can not only go after you but also the company you work for. Think about it, is that phone call that important? Is returning that e-mail so Earth shattering it couldn't wait?

If it can't wait pull over into a gas station or rest stop and take care of it then.  The procedure for the Ken at Travelers, and their company wide policy, is that you must pull over to take a phone call and if it rings while driving let it go to voicemail. People will understand if you tell them that you were driving and couldn't pick-up, use your manners and apologize, but they should understand.

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