Can I use my cell phone in my car?

Cell phones are a valuable way of conducting business, but at the same time they have raised a lot of issues involving safety. Nine states have passed laws prohibiting talking on a cell phone while driving without using a hands free device (California, Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, and Washington) and the District of Columbia.

I reside in Maryland where talking on a hand held cell phone is a secondary offense. This mean you can’t be stopped by law enforcement unless they observe another offense. Perhaps this is the reason why I still see many people talking on their phones. But then again I drive in Delaware, where it’s a primary offense, and I see many people there still talking too. I suppose part of it is that it has become ingrained into the life of many people.

Then again whether it’s legal or not, doesn’t it really depends on you on whether you use the phone while driving or not?

Do you feel comfortable driving while talking?

If it diverts your attention from driving, the best action would be to pull to the side of the road and bring your conversation to an end before continuing your travels. This also may be best if you are traveling in areas where cellphone coverage may not be at it’s best.

Then again there may be liability issues. If an employee has an auto accident and harms someone while making a work-related cell phone call, the employer as well as the employee may be found liable. Lawsuits have been filed around the nation and companies have settled before going to court.

Then there’s texting.

Text messaging is banned for all drivers in 35 states and the District of Columbia.

My suggestion and recommendation is that it is never a good idea to be texting or text messaging while driving. This is especially true to sending text messages, but also includes reading an incoming text. While you are reading the text your attention is being diverted from the main focus of driving and as we have seen in insurance companies ads lately, they come unexpectedly.

If you are one that feels as if it’s Ok to use cell phone while in their car the following safety guidelines may help:
• Use a hands-free phone.
• Never have stressful conversations while driving.
• Keep your eyes on the road while on the phone.
• Get to know your phone and its features, such as speed dial and redial.
• Always dial while the car isn’t moving.
• Use speed dialing as much as possible.
• Never use the phone in heavy traffic or bad weather.
• Never look up phone numbers while driving.
• Do not take notes while driving.

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