Yes, we know some of you are still texting while you drive. You absolutely know you shouldn’t, but it’s tempting at times and many people seem to do it every day. Texting and driving is illegal in most states, and dangerous absolutely everywhere. Therefore, it is crucial you take steps to stop or prevent yourself from being distracted while you drive. Keep the following tips and tricks in mind:
There are technical solutions out there
Cellcontrol’s DriveID v2 ($129) is aimed at parents who want to curb teen drivers’ bad habits, but it works fine with your own Android or iOS phone, too. The device can be customized to allow hands-free Bluetooth phone usage, or have all features except 911 emergency calling disabled when the car is rolling.
Some apps will also help you curb your own or your teenage driver’s bad habits, but few block all phone usage or eliminate all notifications. Read the fine print and check out an app carefully before you count on its reliability. Helpfully, many of these are free or have a much lower cost than DriveID, so you can easily download, install and check them out.
Pair your phone and your car
Many cars and most phones are Bluetooth compatible. Take the time to figure out how to sync up your devices to ensure your calls can be hands-free while you drive, leaving you with two hands on the wheel and two eyes on the road at all times.
Related: Your Car as an Internet Connected Device
Hand your phone to a passenger
To avoid temptation, put your co-pilot in charge of your phone (whether it’s your kid or simply another passenger). After all, if your kid is busy racking up a high score on Candy Crush, easy access to your phone will probably not be likely.
One other trick to try: Use a checklist
It’s low-tech, but this is the same idea that has helped many hospitals cut hospital-acquired infection rates down to nearly zero. (Yes, the fact that a checklist to wash your hands has worked so well means that some doctors actually weren’t washing their hands before. Don’t think too hard about it.)
For your driving checklist, you might include items like:
- Power down phone and place in bag, or in the backseat
- Ensure the driver and all passengers are buckled
- Adjust mirrors
- Check gas gauge and plan stop, if needed
Print the checklist and tape it to a safe spot on your dashboard. Read it each time before you start the car—and follow the steps!