You follow traffic laws (for the most part) and you’ve never received any citations or warnings. But you aren’t afraid to send the occasional “on my way” text to your friend as you are cruising down the highway at 60 miles per hour.
The truth is mobile phones are a distraction, and distracted drivers can cause life-threatening accidents.
Although many of us are technology-obsessed, not being able to put your phone down behind the wheel is not only a dangerous habit, but it is also unlawful in Washington. Here are some ways you can try and keep your phone out of your hand during your daily drives:
- Put it away: Most cars come with compartments — this can be a great holding place for your phone until you have reached your destination. Be sure to also turn off the volume before putting it away, so notification alerts don’t create a new distraction.
- Plan ahead: Maybe it’s not texting and driving that’s the problem, rather you are known to pick up your phone to flip through or change music. You can get around this by creating several playlists that last much longer than your typical routes. Many streaming apps allow you to queue podcasts, daily news updates and music all in one place, which creates options for you to play the perfect soundtrack for any mood.
- Go hands-free: If you own an older car, then you might not have the luxury of using pre-existing Bluetooth technology to text or call using only voice. But there are many gadgets and adapters you can easily install at a low price. Using the speaker phone function on your phone is also an option, but by law, you can only do single finger swipes or touches of your phone while driving.
Even if you think you’ve mastered texting and driving, you will receive fines and risk higher insurance rates if a law enforcement officer catches you in the act.