Did you know that July is National Cell Phone Courtesy Month? Most likely, when you think about cell phone courtesy, you picture turning your phone off at a movie theater or refraining from texting at the dinner table. Not using a cell phone while driving is a question of saving lives, which is a significant aspect of cell phone courtesy that goes beyond simply being an inconvenience.
Smartphones have completely changed and taken over our lives. Not only do they entertain us, but they give us directions, and help us keep in touch with family and friends. However, when you’re behind the wheel, cell phone use becomes another distraction that can have deadly consequences. Even though it is illegal to use a cell phone while driving in Tennessee, there were still almost 24,000 distracted driving crashes in Tennessee in 2020.
Although it can be challenging to avoid using your phone while driving, it is a habit that should be developed. Follow these four simple suggestions from our Nashville car accident lawyers to stop using a cell phone while driving to show your support for National Cell Phone Courtesy Month.
#1. Use Hands-Free Features
As soon as we get behind the wheel, we should all try to put our phones out of our sight so we won’t be tempted to use them when driving. This can be difficult as we tend to use our phones for directions when driving. To reduce the temptation or need to use your phone when driving, switch to hands-free mode.
Luckily, newer vehicles are equipped with Bluetooth or Android Auto and Apple CarPlay so you can use your phone over your car speakers. Just because you use the hands-free feature in your car does not mean you can still be distracted by your device. If you are using your phone’s GPS, get the information entered before you hit the road.
Also, try to avoid engaging in conversations that demand too much of your cognitive capacity or stir up your emotions. This is another type of distracted driving. Also, maintain the volume at a level where you can still hear the sounds of traffic.
#2 Delegate Tasks to Passengers
If you are driving with one or more passengers, delegate tasks to them such as looking up directions, setting up the GPS, switching music, answering urgent text messages, etc. Be careful not to become so preoccupied while delegating that you fail to pay attention to your surroundings. If there is something that your passengers cannot handle, then wait until you get to your destination.
#3 Never Text and Drive —Even at Red Lights
We all know texting and driving is dangerous, yet thousands of drivers still do it daily. Yes, even texting at a red light or when traffic is backed up is dangerous. When you’re texting at a stoplight, you’re not looking to see if the light is green, scanning your rearview mirror for oncoming traffic, or scanning the road in front of you for dangers.
With good cause, Tennessee’s 2019 Hands Free Law made it illegal for drivers to manually send texts or hold their phone while operating a motor vehicle.
#4 Install a Notification Blocking App
Some Nashville drivers simply can’t resist the urge to check their phones. If you need some further assistance in avoiding using your phone when driving, an app like LifeSaver prevents incoming text messages, phone calls, or both. It even notifies anyone who attempts to reach you while you’re driving via an automated text message as to why you won’t be answering right away.
There is another app, Mojo, that rewards users with points for every minute they go without touching their phones when driving. When you reach a certain number of points, you’ll receive a gift card from well-known stores like Amazon or Starbucks. You can even compete with friends within the app to see who drives the safest.
Injured by a Distracted Driver in Tennessee?
While these suggestions can assist you in reducing your own mobile phone use, there is little you can do to prevent other drivers from using their phones while driving. Victims of distracted driving accidents in Tennessee may sustain catastrophic injuries as a result of someone else’s thoughtless action.
You may be eligible for compensation if someone else’s use of a cell phone while driving causes you or a loved one to sustain injuries in a traffic accident. Call Lerner and Rowe Injury Attorneys at 615-333-8888 to to learn if you are able to file a personal injury claim and to arrange your free consultation with a Nashville auto accident lawyer