But I Need My Phone!
The State of Oregon wants you to put your hands on the wheel while driving and your cell phone down. No talking, no texting. No snaps or insta-looking. Wait!... No Google Maps or Waze? Is that even possible? Apparently, it is and in about a week it becomes a State Law. It's scary, I know! But honestly, it may be time to loosen our co-dependency on our devices. It's hard to convince people not to be addicted to their phones. For the most part, enjoy them if you want. But one area where we can all agree on cell phones are a big no-no? Driving.
Unfortunately, your addiction to your phone doesn't suddenly stop when you're driving. We've all been there. You're stuck in bumper to bumper traffic, and you're bored out of your mind staring at the car in front of you. It would make the commute so much better if you could just check Snapchat and see what your friends are up to. Or maybe scroll through Instagram just for a second before the light turns green. It may be innocent enough, you'll only do it for a few seconds, you tell yourself. But allowing yourself to do this more and more forms a nasty habit of needing your phone for entertainment always, even while driving.
It's a slippery slope; soon you will probably check your phone while driving, convinced that you "have it under control." But the reality is, you don't. It only takes a few seconds of looking down at a text and suddenly you don't notice someone merging into your lane, or a motorcycle zooming by as you're about to turn. You may seriously injure someone, yourself, or get in a bad accident.
Does texting your friend back the second they text you instead of waiting an extra 20 minutes really worth rising insurance costs, a totaled car, or even you or an innocent person potentially getting injured? Of course not! Nobody wants to be the one who causes an accident--but, face the facts. Using your phone while driving raises the stakes of that happening every time you do it.
With the rise in the number of accidents happening due to distracted drivers, police are taking notice. Some states are working to create a solution, and one may have already found the best way to prevent this from happening. Oregon has passed into law that cell phones being used in a car for any reason is now illegal. Starting October 1st, you cannot use or even hold your phone in the car. Police know the signs of someone using a phone in the car. You think you're being sly, but it is very easy to tell. Drivers only using one hand to drive will signal to police automatically to check for other signs of a driver using their cellphone. Another dead giveaway - your chin down, your eyes are obviously looking at something on your lap, shifting eyes to your lap and back on the road again. It's like we're back in high school trying to text in class, it never goes well. Cops DO notice this!
In the end, even if you just get a ticket because of this, that alone is not worth it. The risk of something worse happening just because you wanted to Snap while driving is NOT worth it. We understand it's hard. Do yourself and everyone else a favor, and try these tips for driving safely. You will feel SO much better about yourself!
Tips For Breaking The "Cellphone In The Car" Habit
- Put your phone out of sight. Making it harder for you to grab your phone will deter you from checking it while driving and give you the extra time to think, "Do I REALLY need it right now?" Put it in the glove box if you have to, or throw it in the backseat!
- If you are having conversations with people as you're getting in your car, simply give them a courtesy text letting them know you are about to drive and that is why they won't hear from you until you get home. Your friends will understand, and if they don't, that is a whole different conversation of why you're friends with people who would rather you text them back than be safe. In fact, warning your buddies about this might even influence them to begin this practice.
- If you have good self-control for the most part or you need your phone to listen to music, at least make sure notifications aren't popping up that can tempt you to check the phone. Temporarily change your notifications, put your phone on silent, or even better, switch it to airplane mode. This is such a big issue for everyone that there are even apps out there that can help, such as LifeSaver.
- For those who dig the silent car rides... a little bit of "oommm" if you will, go full on with a Silent Pocket. It'll protect you from RF radiation and will definitely keep you from picking it up. Your phone deserves some rest too, right? Why not in the car.
Here's the research