When sending a text, surfing, or reading your phone, rest the phone on top of the steering wheel within your hand. This gives you a snowballs chance at stopping quickly if the car ahead stops short or moves on at a light. At least you will be able to use your peripheral vision to see that the car has stopped before you slam into the back bumper. When the phone is down on your lap or under the wheel, Stevie Wonder mine as well be driving – You have no chance of avoiding impending collisions. Just last week, I saw a girl rear end a truck because her head was down and her phone was too low. Getting low in the club cool, getting your phone low in the car...not cool !!
When talking on the phone don’t drive in the left lane,…you will naturally go into a trance driving mode and follow the car in front - this aggravates other drivers and causes many of them to become frustrated and aggressive. Stay in the right lane, keep a safe following distance of 2-3 seconds, and do not speed. Your brain can’t react as quickly when your yapping, as driving seems to take a back seat to your conversation cognitively.
When going thru intersections, look both ways even if you have a green light. Many a driver these days are distracted and they accidentally run right thru red lights. Remember accidents happen when two people are not paying attention and they hit each other.
Got a conversation that is really important or going to get intense,…I will typically pull over for these types of calls, as they can use up 95% of my focus. 5% is simply not enough focus to drive effectively. Once a call eclipses the 90% focus mark,…start thinking about finding a spot to pull over. Better yet,…initiate the really important calls when you are pulled over.
Use a Bluetooth or wired headset if possible, they are dirt cheap these days and enable safer driving. Evasive driving maneuvers are very difficult with one hand
If your merging onto a highway such as Route 22 or 309,..or on driving an unfamiliar road…put the phone down for a few seconds. Countless accidents have been caused by distracted merging drivers on cell phones. I have been guilty of two cell phone merging accidents on 309, one my fault about 6 yrs ago, and one by another a few months ago…both were very slow and caused no damage. But they were a wake-up call to get off the darn phone at merges.
So if your going to talk, surf, or text and drive,…do it as safely as possible…or don’t do it at all.
*Update 1/22/11 using your phone in any capacity except with a hands free headset while driving is illegal in Allentown. Punishment is a heavy fine which you will want to avoid.