Tools and Tips for Phone-Free Driving

Few pieces of technology are as useful to the modern citizen than the smart phone. With this small device, not only can you keep up with phone calls, but you can check the internet, watch videos, and use countless apps. Unfortunately, the nearly limitless possibilities of the smart phone make it enormously tempting to you at all times—even when you are driving. The National Safety Council reports that cell phone use while driving accounts for 1 out of every 4 accidents, translating into about 1.6 million car crashes each year. Younger drivers are especially susceptible to the temptation of using their phone and driving at the same time. A recent poll indicated that 94 percent of teen drivers acknowledged the danger of texting and driving, but 35 percent admitted to doing it anyway! If you struggle with texting and driving, consider utilizing these tools and tips to stop this habit and keep the roads safe.

Phone Applications

Ironically, a great way to stop yourself from dangerous cell phone habits while driving involves using a cell phone. More specifically, it involves using applications designed to reduce your need to use the phone on the road. Applications such as Lifesaver, OMW, Mojo, and AT&T Drivemode turn on when you start driving and make it completely unnecessary to use your phone to respond to someone’s test message. They also reduce your temptation to do so, since they automatically silence incoming messages and calls, so that you don’t hear your phone go off while you are busy driving. If you are unable to download applications such as these, then you have another option—simply turning off your phone completely when you are driving somewhere.

Do Not Overestimate the Safety of Hands-Free Cell Phone Devices

Many drivers assume that you can safely talk on the phone as long as you have both of your hands on the wheel. As a result, hands-free cell phone accessories have risen in popularity. The technology is even built into many modern cars, making it even more readily available to new drivers. Do these hand-free devices actually allow you to safely talk on the phone while driving? Unfortunately, many studies indicate that hands-free approaches present enormous risks and do not keep drivers safe. Our brains struggle to do multiple things at the same time. Just think of how hard it is to focus on a book while you are in the midst of a conversation in the living room. On the road, this is no less true; only, the consequences of your lack of focus will be far more grave. Make sure your attention is completely on the road and not divided.

Take Precautions Before Driving

Often times, the best preventative measure you can take to avoid distracting yourself with a cell phone while driving is to simply take care of the calls that you need to before you actually start driving. Think carefully before you hit the road about the calls and texts which you are expecting to make or take. If you expect to hear from someone, go ahead and contact them. If they are unavailable, let them know that you will be on the road and dissuade them from calling you until later. Another course of action which you can consider to decrease the likelihood that you will use your phone while driving may or may not be necessary. If you are highly addicted to your phone and lack the strength of will to prevent yourself from using it until you are stopped, you may want to put your phone in the trunk. This would prevent you from hearing it go off, and it would also make sure that you cannot use it until you have parked somewhere.


The dangers of using a cell phone and driving at the same time cannot be overstated. Each year, thousands of people get into their car and use their phone under the false impression that they will be perfectly safe. Don’t make this mistake, or you could end up like one of the 3,450 people who died as a result of distracted driving in 2016. It is true that there are some rare emergencies which demand your attention and time on the phone when you are driving. But these emergencies do not have to instigate another one. If you have a pressing matter, pull over to the side of the road and take care of it without endangering your life and the lives of the other drivers on the road. Deaths and injuries caused by using the phone and driving at the same time are entirely preventable, so work up the motivation to prevent it!

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