When driving a car, driving is your first responsibility.
We learned the basic lessons as teenagers. Driving requires alertness, caution and courtesy. It requires common sense: keep your head up, keep your eyes on the road and check your mirrors frequently. Driving requires obeying all traffic signs and signals and staying within the speed limit. It means using seatbelts and requiring passengers to do the same.
With wireless phone use, driving safely means a bit more:
1. Get to know your phone and its features. Carefully read your instruction manual and learn how to take advantage of valuable features most phones offer, including automatic redial and memory. Work to memorize the phone keypad so you can use the speed dial function without taking your attention off the road.
2. Use a hands-free headset or speakerphone.
3. Make sure you place your phone within easy reach and where you can grab it without removing your eyes from the road.
4. If you get an incoming call at an inconvenient time, let your voice mail answer it for you.
5. Let the person you are speaking to know you are driving. If necessary, suspend the call in heavy traffic or hazardous weather conditions. Rain, sleet, snow and ice can be hazardous, but so is heavy traffic. As a driver, your first responsibility is to pay attention to the road.
6. Do not take notes or look up phone numbers while driving. If you are reading an address book or business card, or writing a "to do" list while driving a car, you are not watching where you are going. It's common sense. Don't get caught in a dangerous situation because you are reading or writing and not paying attention to the road or nearby vehicles.
7. Dial sensibly and assess the traffic; if possible, place calls when you are not moving or before pulling into traffic. If you need to dial while driving, follow this simple tip: dial only a few digits, check the road and your mirrors, then continue.
8. Stressful or emotional conversations and driving do not mix. They are distracting and can be dangerous when you are behind the wheel of a car. Make people you are talking with aware you are driving and if necessary, suspend conversations which have the potential to divert your attention from the road.
9. Your wireless phone is one of the greatest tools you can own to protect yourself and your family in dangerous situations. Help is only three numbers away. Dial 9-1-1 or other local emergency number in the case of fire, traffic accident, road hazard or medical emergency. Remember, it is a FREE call with your wireless phone!
10. Use your wireless phone to help others in emergencies. Your wireless phone provides you a perfect opportunity to be a "Good Samaritan" in your community. If you see an auto accident, crime in progress or other serious emergency where lives are in danger, call 9-1-1 or other local emergency number, as you would want others to do for you.
11. Call roadside assistance or a special wireless non-emergency assistance number when necessary. Certain situations you encounter while driving may require attention, but are not urgent enough to merit a call for emergency services. But you still can use your wireless phone to lend a hand. If you see a broken-down vehicle posing no serious hazard, a broken traffic signal, a minor traffic accident where no one appears injured or a vehicle you know to be stolen, call roadside assistance or other special non-emergency wireless number.
Careless and distracted drivers are a hazard to everyone on the road. The wireless industry reminds you to use your phone safely when driving. For more information, please call 1-888-901-SAFE.
(Based on material from the Cellular Telecommunications & Internet Association)