Millions of people in Arizona and the US rely on their cell phones for a wide range of daily tasks, from contacting vital services to keeping track of their to-do lists. As cell phones have become part of our everyday lives, the need to practice smart and safe cell phone use has increased as well.
Here are five ways to make your cell phone part of a safer driving experience:
- Create an emergency contact.
Some phones have the option to include an emergency contact button directly on the lock screen. For other types, program your emergency contact’s phone number under the name “ICE” (short for “in case of emergency”). This will help emergency personnel know which of your phone’s many listed contacts they should call on your behalf in case you are unable to communicate on your own due to a car accident or similar roadway emergency.
- Know when to put the phone away.
Thanks to informational campaigns, the dangers of texting and driving are well known. Yet talking while driving can be just as dangerous. And awareness campaigns don’t always address the danger of staring at your phone while walking. You can easily run into another person or trip and fall on a hazard in your path while distracted from talking.
- Don’t hesitate to call 911.
Most phones allow you to contact 911 without unlocking the screen, and many will make the call even if the phone itself doesn’t have an active calling plan. A 911 call is free on nearly all phones, so it won’t cost you anything to call for help in an emergency. Use your phone’s 911 capabilities to help yourself or others in case of a car accident.
- Be smart about GPS use.
Tools like GPS are a common part of today’s cell phones, and they can help you navigate more easily. To drive more safely, however, plan ahead. Set up your GPS ahead of time, so that you don’t have to change it during your drive. Using the GPS on your phone can be as distracting as talking or texting behind the wheel.
- Read the fine print.
Many smartphone manuals contain information on how to use your phone more safely while driving. For instance, the manual can tell you how to go hands-free, how to connect the phone to your vehicle’s on-board systems, and how to use the phone’s lockout features to help you avoid the temptation to let it distract you as you drive.
Remember to update your phone’s software frequently. Many phones offer an auto-update option that ensures your phone’s operating system will always have the latest defenses against hackers, bugs, and other risks. If you connect your phone to your car’s system, installing the updates can also help protect your vehicle’s on-board computer from viruses or hackers.
If you’ve been injured in an accident, don’t hesitate to contact an experienced personal injury lawyer. The attorneys at the Folger Law Firm are dedicated to helping our clients obtain the compensation they need.
We work on a contingency basis, so you won’t pay fees unless we recover for you. Contact us today to learn more.