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Businessman Using Mobile Smart Phone While Driving

CELL PHONES & DRIVING

ON THE ROADS

Cell Phones are among many driver distractions that lead to crashes, but not a leading cause of driver distraction. These distractions include: attending to children, rubbernecking, adjusting vehicle controls, eating, drinking, reading, personal grooming and smoking.

A 2003 University of North Carolina study funded by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety concluded that cell phones ranked next to last on a list of common distractions for drivers.

The Mid-Atlantic Foundation for Safety and Education is concerned about driver distractions and educates motorists about the dangers of cell phone use and driving.

Tips for Cell Phone Safety

AAA and the Foundation have a zero tolerance for using a phone while driving.

  • Familiarize yourself with the features of your cell phone before you get behind the wheel.
  • Use message-taking functions and return calls when you are stopped at a safe location.
  • Use the cell phone only when absolutely necessary. Save casual conversations for times when your vehicle is stopped. Plan your conversation in advance, and keep it short - especially in hazardous conditions such as rain, snow or traffic.
  • Let the person you're speaking with know you are in a vehicle.
  • Do not engage in emotional conversations while driving. Pull off the road to a safe spot before continuing this type of conversation.
  • Do not combine distracting activities such as talking on your cell phone while driving, eating and tending to a child.
  • Ask a passenger in the car to place the call for you and, if possible, speak in your place.
  • Secure your phone in the car so that it doesn't become a projectile in a crash.
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Tips for Managing Distractions

  • Before you get behind the wheel, familiarize yourself with your vehicle's features and equipment.
  • Preset radio stations, MP3 devices, and climate control.
  • Secure items that may move around when the car is in motion.
  • Do not text message, access the internet, watch video, play video games, search MP3 devices, or use any other distracting technology while driving.
  • Avoid smoking, eating, drinking and reading while driving.
  • Pull safely off the road and out of traffic to deal with children.
  • Do your personal grooming at home - not in the car.
  • Review maps and driving directions before hitting the road.
  • Monitor traffic conditions before engaging in activities that could divert attention away from driving.
  • Ask a passenger to help you with activities that may be distracting.
  • Recognize driving requires your full attention. If you find your mind wandering, remind yourself to stay focused on the road.
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