There are numerous sources of driver distractions, but one of big concern in this age of electronic devices is cellphone usage. Almost every state has banned texting while driving, including Tennessee, and some also forbid all use of handheld cellphones. Tennessee may soon join the latter group, reports the Chattanooga Times Free Press, as the House panel passed a bill in early 2016 that would allow ticketing drivers talking on handheld cellphones. Whether or not it becomes law, take these steps to prevent cellphone distractions that could lead to accidents.
Make your phone inaccessible
The easiest way to avoid talking and texting on your phone is to put it on silent so you do not even hear it. Put it in an inconvenient place so you are not tempted to check it. Only check for messages once you get to your destination. If you need to remain reachable in the case of an emergency, keep the sound on, but pull over to a safe location before returning the call or text.
Prepare before leaving
Consumers use their phones for more than just talking and texting. Smartphones allow for many more actions, such as playing music and finding locations. Set up your music and get directions before you hit the road. Make sure your phone is charged, or if not, plug it in as soon as you enter your vehicle so you do not have to worry about finding and untangling cords while driving.
Do not take photos while driving
A distraction occurring more commonly is taking pictures while driving. Even if the photo is not of yourself (a selfie ), it is still dangerous to have your focus on whatever you are photographing instead of on the road and other drivers. If you have snapped a photo before driving, wait until you are no longer behind the wheel before sharing it or uploading it to social media.
Be careful with hands-free devices
Opponents of the aforementioned bill expressed that conversation, not the phone, is the real distraction, and that there has not been any claim that using Bluetooth, speakerphone or other hands-free technology is less distracting. This is a good point. While hands-free options keep you in control of your vehicle, the conversation can still divide your attention. Avoid emotionally charged topics or talking on the phone altogether.
Following these tips can prevent you from causing an accident. However, it cannot stop you from being a car crash victim of another distracted driver. If you get into an accident and become injured, call a Tennessee personal injury lawyer to discuss your options.