Everybody has to follow the rules in life. Even celebrities. This point hit close to home for soccer legend David Beckham, who recently received a reprimand for using a cell phone while driving. On Nov. 21, 2018, a member of the British public took a photo of Beckham browsing a mobile device as he drove a Bentley in London traffic. This slip-up earned Beckham a court appearance five months later where he was fined for breaking traffic rules, and given a six-month driving ban after pleading guilty. Even though Beckham’s story is an incident that happened in the U.K., using a cellphone while driving is a crime in many parts of the world, including the United States. 48 U.S. states and counting have enacted laws which prohibit texting and driving, and it’s generally inappropriate for drivers to use mobile devices without the help of hands-free technology.
It’s all about Safety
Using cellphones behind the wheel is wrong for one specific reason. It causes distracted driving. Simply defined, distracted driving is the act of operating a vehicle while doing things that stray concentration away from the specific task of driving. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), around 8 people are killed and 1,161 are injured every day as a direct result of distracted driving. This translates into thousands of deaths and injuries annually because of behavior that is completely preventable. Using a cellphone while driving not only endangers your own life, it jeopardizes the lives of everyone you share the road with.
It’s never that Serious
Nobody’s saying you’re an evil person for using cellphones heavily. After all, life can get hectic and fast-paced for everyone. It’s hard to exist without keeping tabs on the infinite messages that rapidly fill our phones. But, it’s important to remember that there’s a time and a place for everything. If you’re seated behind the wheel of a moving vehicle, that is not the right time or the right place to worry about anything other than being in full control of your vehicle. Your messages can wait until you’re in a safe place to respond. Besides, multitasking while using your phone only increases the chances that you’ll respond to messages inappropriately.
Here are a few tips on how to be safe on the road by avoiding distracted driving.
- Switch it Off: Make a pledge to switch off all your devices every time you switch on your car. The more you associate these two tasks with each other, the more routine it becomes.
- Use “Do Not Disturb Mode”: Most mobile devices are equipped with settings which allow the phone to stay on without drawing attention. If you can’t afford to switch off your devices, activate their discreet settings.
- Use Hands-Free Assistance: There is plenty of technology available which makes it possible for drivers to make phone calls without physically handling phones. For example, you can pair your phone with your vehicle’s Bluetooth system, or you can use dashboard mounts.
- Put Your Passengers to Work: if you’re driving with a passenger you can trust on a personal level, ask them to respond to your messages on your behalf. You can either dictate text message responses to them or ask them to place your calls on speakerphone.
No matter how important your reasons might be to check your phone, don’t do it if you’re driving. The decisions you make as a driver don’t just influence your own life, they also impact the lives of every driver and pedestrian around you. Even the slightest amount of negligence on your part can end up costing you, and many other innocent people, everything. For more information on how Adriana’s Insurance Services can help you stay safe on the road, visit any of our offices or give us a call at 1-800-639-7654. We got you covered!