5 Tips to Prevent Mobile Phone Use While Driving

5 Tips to Prevent Mobile Phone Use While Driving

It’s now universally accepted that using a mobile phone while driving is extremely hazardous. Despite the known dangers, numerous individuals persist in using their smartphones behind the wheel, undeterred by the potential repercussions.

And these repercussions are grave. Distracted driving, which encompasses phone use while driving, stands as a leading cause of road accidents in the UK.

Moreover, being caught in the act carries a significant penalty—a £200 instant fine and 6 points on your licence. For those who’ve had their licence for less than two years, it means losing it entirely.

Engaging with your phone, even for a moment, while driving leads to visual, manual, and cognitive distractions—a dangerous combination that puts both your life and the safety of others at risk.

Choosing to text or call from behind the wheel compromises not only your safety but also that of everyone else on the road.

It’s crucial to prioritise safety and break this risky habit. If you’re looking for guidance on how to keep your phone off-limits while driving, here are 5 essential tips to assist you in avoiding your mobile phone while on the road.

1. Plan Ahead

Smartphone Features and Car Journeys

Smartphones are packed with features that keep us constantly engaged. It’s particularly noticeable how some of these apps become incredibly useful when we’re about to take a car journey.

Whether it’s calculating directions, looking up places to grab a drink en route, or sending a text to inform someone of your departure, smartphones seem indispensable. However, the trick to not being tethered to your device while driving is simple: prepare in advance.

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Plan Ahead

Preparation Is Key

Before you even turn the ignition, take a moment to organise. This might seem like a novel idea, but it’s effective. Set up your sat nav, inform relevant parties of your itinerary, choose a refreshment stop, and then you’re all set to go without needing to glance at your phone.

If you happen to have a passenger, delegate the task of managing the phone to them. Sharing your device, even briefly, could attract unwanted attention from the law. Be prepared, ensuring all necessary information is memorised or noted elsewhere, eliminating the need for phone use during the drive.

2. Hide and No Seek

Keeping Your Phone Out of Reach

One effective strategy to reduce phone dependency while driving is to physically distance yourself from your device.

When we say ‘at arm’s length’, think more along the lines of two arms’ length. The less visible and accessible your phone is, the less likely you’ll be tempted to use it.

Hide and No Seek

Out of Sight, Out of Mind

A convenient spot for your phone during a drive is the glove box. Clear out the old sweets and CDs to make room for your phone.

This “out of sight, out of mind” approach helps reduce the urge to check your device. For those who feel their phone usage borders on addiction, placing it in the boot of the car is another level of deterrence.

Securing your phone in the boot means any attempt to access it would require you to stop the car, switch off the engine, and fetch it—an effort that should discourage most unnecessary checks.

If you find yourself considering this just to glance at your phone, it’s probably time for some self-reflection—preferably in an actual mirror, not your phone’s camera.

3. Invest in the Right Technology

Legal but Not Risk-Free

While using a handheld device during driving is against the law, hands-free sets are legally permitted. For those who deem it essential to use their phone on the move, investing in a hands-free set is a must.

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Invest in the Right Technology

Safety Considerations

However, it’s crucial to understand that just because something is legal, it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s safe. Engaging in phone calls or using voice commands can still significantly distract you from focusing on the road.

We recommend postponing any serious, deep, or emotional conversations until you can give them your full attention, safely parked.

Even seemingly benign interactions with virtual assistants like Siri can become unexpectedly frustrating. Should a conversation escalate or become distracting, it’s wise to pull over and take a moment to regroup before continuing your journey.

4. Find Other Ways to Pass the Time

Explore Alternative Entertainment

We understand that being caught in bumper-to-bumper traffic is anything but enjoyable. With your phone within easy reach, the temptation to flick through Instagram for a quick laugh can be hard to resist.

But ask yourself, is engaging with that meme worth the risk of an accident? Rest assured, it will still be there when you reach home, along with countless others thanks to the wonders of the internet.

Find Other Ways to Pass the Time

Engage in Traffic Observation

To steer clear of such temptations, consider other ways to occupy yourself. Take a moment to observe the drivers around you, it can be quite the spectacle.

Keep an eye out for any potential hazards; it’s a good practice for staying safe. Reflect on the remainder of your trip, planning your next moves.

Enjoy Audio Entertainment

Alternatively, turn on the radio and let loose with some singing. The options might not be boundless, but they do prove that your phone isn’t the only source of entertainment.

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Engaging in these activities not only makes the time pass more pleasantly but also keeps you safer on the road.

Embrace the Off Button

Testing your willpower and choosing to part ways with your device, even briefly, can prove beneficial. Though it may feel like a significant sacrifice, remember, it’s only for a short while.

If the thought of going completely without your phone is daunting, start by setting it to silent and placing it screen-side down.

Embrace the Off Button

Utilise Technology to Your Advantage

There are numerous apps and settings designed to minimize distractions from your phone during a drive. For instance, Apple offers a Do Not Disturb While Driving feature.

Once enabled, it uses your car’s Bluetooth to detect when you’re driving and automatically informs anyone who tries to contact you that you’re currently unavailable. Pretty clever, right?

Armed with these strategies, you’ll be on your way to enjoying a distraction-free driving experience. Take pride in contributing to making Britain’s roads safer.

However, if there’s an absolute necessity to use your phone while on the road, always pull over and turn the engine off first.

It’s rare that a situation doesn’t allow for this precaution. Given the increasing concern over mobile phone usage behind the wheel, expect penalties for infractions to become more severe.