Thank you to U.S. Cellular for allowing me to be a member of their Blogger Brigade. All opinions are 100% my own. Take a look at this Parent-Child Agreement if you’re looking to set some ground rules for cellular use within your family.
I recently found out that April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month. I think it’s safe to say distracted driving has become a relevant issue over the last few years, deserving attention and education. One thing I’ve noticed is that despite what you may think, distracted drivers come in all ages. It’s not just the teens on the road that are guilty…that’s right Mom’s, Dad’s, Aunt’s Uncle’s and all you other adults, you’re guilty of it too! Something else I know, car accident’s do not discriminate…the only way you can be 100% that you will not be involved in one, is if you were to never drive or get into or anywhere near a motor vehicle. Not a likely scenario right?
With drivers both young and more experienced drivers on the streets, staying attentive on the road and surroundings is more important than ever and there are devices out there that can help with that. Smartphone devices and tablets, such as the Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 can be paired with wireless accessories to increase safety and maintain productivity on the road. Something else ot consider is that in some states (like Washington State where I’m from) it is actually illegal to use make or take a phone call, text, instant message, or surf the internet while driving without a handsfree device.
Distracted Driving Statistics
- Distracted driving is not limited to using a mobile device, but also includes eating, drinking, grooming and talking to passengers. In 2013, there were 3,154 deaths in relation to distracted driving.
- According to a U.S. Cellular survey, 43 percent of smartphone owners use their device while driving.
- However, the same survey revealed 34 percent of smartphone users get annoyed at others for using their smartphones while driving. (Hmm…sounds like the ole’ do as I say, not as I do scenario.)
- The good news, that makes these results a little less scary is that according to the same U.S. Cellular survey, 74 percent of those who use their phone while driving utilize a hands-free device such as a Bluetooth headset or in-car Bluetooth system.
Ways to Combat Distracted Driving
- Take away distractions. It is easy to be distracted by the phone buzzing in the console. So turn it off or put it in airplane mode. If you have a fancy new iPhone 6, you can switch to the Do Not Disturb during drive time. I promis, friends and family would rather see you get there in one piece and will understand the commitment to limit distractions.
- Prepare yourself beforehand – one thing that I’ve started doing and that really helps me stay focused when I’m going somewhere unfamiliar is to enter the address into the GPS on my phone or tablet before hitting the road and then I place my device in a spot where directional prompting can be heard to prevent missing a turn.
- Utilize accessories that are made specifically to help you use your device hands free. With accessories such as the Plantronics Voyager Legend Bluetooth Headset, carrying on a conversation during a commute is easy, convenient and safe.
- Enlist the help of passengers if it can’t wait. I alway take care of the navigation duties when hubby and I are both in the car (or he does if I’m behind the wheel. Remember, distracted driving not only affects you, but also impacts the safety of others. Passengers can also help you if a message or phone call absolutely can’t wait. If driving alone and you simply can’t wait a bit longer, the safest option is to pull off the road briefly to use a device.
Now that you’ve got something to think about, I challenge you to make a family commitment to not use your mobile devices when you drive . For help setting some ground rules, U.S. Cellular has a great (and free) Parent-Child agreement that allows families to create a customizable contract with family members to make the conversation easier and clearer. The agreement focuses on safety and etiquette, even when it comes to bringing smartphones into the car. Take a look and let me know what you think!