Cutting out the distractions when driving

8 03 2010

Distracted driving has been in the news quite a bit lately as legislators look to ban texting and other cell phone activities while you’re on the road. Washington has banned cell phones and texting while driving; however, it’s a secondary offense here (meaning you can’t be pulled over just for texting, but you can be cited for it if you’re stopped for another offense).

My new phone has me thinking more about my own distracted driving habits. Texting while driving or even making a call was a lot easier with my QWERTY keyboard phone. I knew where all the buttons were and could text or call someone very quickly. The Nexus One requires much more attention. I like the voice input feature, but it’s often not accurate enough to replace the need to type. Plus, that’s just as distracting. Having your hands free doesn’t solve the real problem. If you’re paying attention to your phone, you’re paying less attention to the road.

So I’ve decided to take a pledge that I won’t use my phone while driving (except in an emergency, of course). This requires two main steps:

Step 1. I’m going to buy a car dock for the Nexus One. That way, when I’m using the phone for GPS and turn-by-turn directions, it’s in the proper place to view it and to hear the instructions. I can set it up before I leave and hopefully won’t need to touch it until I arrive at my destination. Right now, I don’t have a safe spot to put the phone while using the navigation feature.

Step 2. No texting or checking my email at stoplights. If I really need to do something with my phone, I’ll pull over.

Fortunately, I walk or take the bus most places. But when I do drive, I’m going to do my best not to be distracted.

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One response

8 03 2010
peterlux

Amy,

Thanks for keeping our roads safer. It’s a relief to know you’re not out there driving-while-texting 🙂

Good idea to create an environment that will discourage such tempting behavior by getting a car dock.

Interesting that you found texting with a keyboard easier than with your nexus. I wonder if the rising popularity of smartphones sans keyboard will lead to fewer people texting while driving or if their texting behavior just will become even more dangerous.

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