It’s the new thing, not phones we have had those for awhile now, getting in trouble in the car because of your phone. There is so much going in there though! We know. There are text messages to answer, the President could be tweeting another celebrity could have died. Sure, we all know that the texts can wait, people will screenshot those tweets and those celebrities will still be dead when we park but we want to know now. Some of us just can’t help it and that impulse leads to accidents that can range from fender benders to severe collisions. If it hasn’t happened yet, it will. Here are some tips for getting that cell phone out of your hands while driving.
1. Keep It In The Back Of The Car
If you can’t reach it, you can’t use it. We’re talking put it in your bag in the trunk. More importantly put it on vibrate back there. Then you won’t even be tempted to look at it because you won’t even know anyone is reaching out, because they probably aren’t. If you leave your phone far back in the car then it is also a lovely surprise when you get to your destination that people are interested to hear what you have to say about your brunch plans the next day. This is the most effective of the options. If the phone is in the back of the car without reach you will be able to control yourself simply out of inability to reach it. It’s why you should put booze in the trunk as well.
We tried the headset for years and for some that still works. We found that it is still distracting and people frequently need to mess with the phone when operating the headset as well. Most car manufacturers figured this out and came to the rescue. Almost all new vehicles are equipped with the capability to sync your phone to your cars speakers. The same sound system you are listening to Miley Cyrus or the Jonas Brothers on. Using voice commands you can receive phone calls and even reply to text messages without your hands leaving the steering wheel for one second.
We do recommend that you set up and practice the voice commands before heading out on the road. This should allow you the understanding of the Bluetooth system and will prevent you from needing to manually use your phone out of frustration. Another positive is when the lady robot reads your text messages out loud it is absolutely hilarious. Stay in touch and entertained hands free with the built in Bluetooth option.
3. Utilize Passengers
They aren’t doing anything, give them the phone and have them respond to your text messages. You guys were probably chatting about it anyway so just let them type it out for you. You can tell them exactly what to write and most people are too afraid to put something different than what you said. If you do have a clown as a passenger, as some of us are, but you couldn’t wait until arrival to send the response then dealing with them tacking on the part about you smelling bad or whatever is just a part of the game. You can inform them upon arrival that your passenger thinks they are hilarious, even though they are not and everything will be just fine.
Letting your passenger respond takes the pressure off of you to respond while driving and also gives them a sense of purpose and responsibility. It gives them something to do and less for you to worry about.
4. Save The Emotions For The Destination
No matter what you choose to keep yourself safe from the temptation of your phone it is always best to limit the conversations to simple ones. First of all, when you are in the car alone, that is time for you. You shouldn’t be bothered by other people’s problems. Work probably just ended and you should be relaxing and jamming to your favorite music or podcast. This time should only be interrupted by simple calls, like when will you be home or you left your jacket at the office so it has been hung in the closet. Simple, quick, more details can come face-to-face if need be. Second, emotions are extremely distracting as a driver even without having someone stir them up with a call about it.
If you are mid-fight with a loved one, see an incoming call from the hospital or your boss is already calling to get on you about something due at work the next day, save it. Take this little bit of time you have without the stress and enjoy it. Wait until you get home or to the parking lot of the gym or until you can pull over to sit and safely have those conversations that not only distract you by using your phone but rile up your emotions as well. If the conversation is going to upset you and take you out of a safe headspace, save it.
Some of these options may seem simple and that’s because they are. It is literally a matter of a second between looking at your phone and getting into a car wreck, so it is simple. If you can control yourself and use your hands free options that is fantastic. Just don’t let your urges to know what’s going on stray your attention from the road and if you can’t control yourself then do the safest thing and remove the phone from your reach (all the way). Give yourself a break from the constant phone usage and the drama that comes along with it and allow yourself some free thinking space on your drives. It’s safer for you in more ways than one.