Driving while talking on the phone can be very dangerous, especially when using a handset phone. It can be difficult to focus on holding a phone and keeping your eyes on the road at the same time. A number of states have passed laws requiring that any motorists who are using phones either pull over or use a hands-free device. There are a number of ways to stay safe while driving and using the phone, letting you stay in touch when necessary without putting your safety, or the safety of your fellow drivers, in jeopardy.
Convenient Cell Phone Mounting
One of the easiest ways to stay safe while driving is to use a phone mount. These simple little devices hold your phone in a convenient location to keep your hands free. There are several different mounting options. You can mount the phone on your dashboard, in a cup holder, or even on the console (when using a device that’s supported by the vent of your car or truck’s heating and cooling system).
Many of these mounts are designed to provide additional storage space for small items while still keeping your phone secured in a convenient location. All of these mounts allow your phone to be easily removed once you reach your destination, and can be removed themselves in mere seconds.
Hands-Free Phone Operation
Once a cellular phone has been mounted in a vehicle, one of the easiest ways to ensure hands-free operation is by use of an earpiece or other personal speaker unit. Many modern phones feature Bluetooth connectivity so that any Bluetooth headset can be used.
But even phones without Bluetooth have headphone jacks so that a simple earpiece can be connected to them. Some earpieces and headsets even feature independent volume control to allow you to adjust the speaker volume without having to reach for the phone. And most hands free devices allow you to answer the phone with the quick touch a button, so you don’t have to take your eyes off the road.
Some drivers choose not to use earpieces or headsets because they prevent them from being able to fully hear everything that is going on around them. Most cellular phones are equipped with a speakerphone option, though this isn’t always ideal as the speaker can sometimes sound muffled or be difficult to hear.
Third-party speaker systems are a great solution, as are speakerphone products such as the Jupiter Jack. These devices plug into the headset port on the cellular phone, then broadcast the sound on a short-range frequency that can be picked up by your car or truck’s FM radio. This allows you to hear the person on the other end of the phone clearly while letting you focus your full attention on the sights and sounds that surround you.
Automotive Phone Chargers
The beeping that cellular phones emit when their batteries are dying is designed to get your attention, but when you are trying to concentrate on driving, that incessant beep can be distracting to a dangerous degree.
Automotive phone chargers are easy to find and ensure that your phone isn’t going to die while you’re travelling. The chargers plug conveniently into your car’s cigarette lighter or power point, and can be an easy way to keep your phone fully charged on long commutes or road trips.
Should you not have your automotive charger with you, flash chargers and temporary batteries are available as well. You simply plug a flash charger into your phone’s battery cord port and it will transfer up to 30 minutes of power or more to your phone. Or, you can use a temporary battery for up to an hour of additional power. These are both simple ways to make using your phone on the road safer.
Most phones have a voice dialing feature that can be used in conjunction with several third-party components to make the phone completely hands-free. Phones with voice dialing generally have a “training” mode that can be used from time to time to ensure that it can recognize all of the commands and names that you have programmed into it. Voice-dialing allows you to make calls from a mounted phone without having to touch the phone at all. Combining voice-dialing with a speakerphone system allows you to have full conversations without having to touch a single button.
Talking on the phone is an absolute necessity for many drivers, especially busy professionals on the go. But with a few easy-to-use products, you can rest assured that your phone conversations won’t put your safety and the safety of your fellow travelers at risk.
Jeremy Foster is a freelance writer who writes about products used in automobiles such as the Jupiter Jack.