1. krisguy's Avatar
    On the way home from a doctor’s appointment today, one of the biggest danger that our mobile tech can cause almost smacked me in my van. As I got to the intersection, the light turned yellow. At the same time, the SUV in the turn lane in the oncoming direction decided to try to beat the light. She couldn’t see me because the driver was turning left, but had her face in her phone being held in her right hand.

    I slammed on my brakes as she slammed on hers. With my older van and a heavy rain, I ended up doing a 180 and just missed her. As I pulled off to the side street, the other driver felt the need to come up to me, stop, give me a finger while still texting!

    Considering I could have died or caused someone else’s death, I decided to take my social responsibility as a technological fan and as an employee in the wireless industry. My message is the same as the one that comes on the plastic on your new phone.

    Please, don’t use your phone in your hand while operating a vehicle, machinery, or ocean craft. There’s too much going on to allow a major, addictive distraction to muddle up things more.

    For those of us that feel it necessary to marry the two, there are options that are not as intrusive, but still can cause distractions. As a sales consultant for a major telecom, I do have some solutions.

    1. Get a built-in Bluetooth based solution to the vehicle (best solution)
    Most new vehicles come with an in-dash solution that is compatible with Android Auto or Apple Carplay. Visitors to Mobile Nation’s Tesla Central know about this connectivity because it is default on all Tesla vehicles.
    The big thing is that make sure you are getting updates for your in-dash system. If you don’t know how or where to look, contact your dealer’s repair department. Worst case, they will plug into your car and update the software, if needed.

    2. Get a replacement stereo/entertainment console with Bluetooth.
    I drive a 1997 Ford Windstar as my get-around vehicle. I found a JVC stereo for 59 dollars that had no CD drive and had a Bluetooth adapter. Bought it, installed it. Now I have voice calling with one button.

    3. Use a Bluetooth based speaker or headset.
    With modern Bluetooth headsets, the manufacturers have apps that make it easy to do voice to text.
    Android users can use Google Now, Cortana, and S Voice all allow you to send messages with only voice commands (uses more battery, though). Siri can do the same on iOS. Cortana will do this on Windows Mobile devices.
    For getting notifications, LG has an app called Tone & Talk for its Tone headset line that reads notifications out in your ear. Samsung Level provides that same functionality for their headphones. Windows Mobile devices have been able to get TTS for messages since Windows 8.1

    4. Use a smartwatch or fitness tracker (least desirable)
    Those of us that have Apple Watch, Pebble, certain Fitbit models, Garmin trackers, Samsung Gear/Gear Fit, or Android Wear devices have the luxury of having notifications appear on the watch screen. It is not a desirable option because it still takes your eyes off the road, but with the screen so close, it minimizes the time off the road.

    5. Wait until you get to your destination (most desirable)
    The best solution is to just let it go until you get where you need to go. If you are worried about the other person spamming you because you didn’t respond in 10 seconds, most devices have built-in or downloadable apps that automatically reply when you are moving more than 15-20 MPH with a message that says that you are driving. Even with all the options I have in my van, this one gets used the most.

    If you got to the bottom of this post, congratulations! You care enough about your fellow drivers (and yourself) that you want to learn. For more information or solutions, check with your auto dealer, wireless carrier, or favorite tech store for more apps and devices that can assist us being better drivers. Those of us that are tech gurus/fans and those of us in the industry MUST ALWAYS ENSURE that people use their technology safely.
    09-13-2016 12:08 PM
  2. Aquila's Avatar
    Sorry that happened to you; hope you got a license plate and can file a report. Attempting to run through a traffic control signal and distracted driving are both illegal. This is one of the worst things about riding a motorcycle - jerks who value their own impatience and their own ability to suck at life over the welfare of others.

    IMO:

    Best solution - turn the damned thing off.

    Second best solution, Moto phones used to (not sure if they still do) handle driving mode like pro's. Would love to see more OEM's get their act together with features like that.

    The only people who are receiving phone calls that are so important that they are worth more than the life of another person tend to have people driving them around.
    09-13-2016 12:41 PM
  3. Sim_8_3's Avatar
    I'm sorry to hear about your horrible experience, your are lucky to be alive, was the driver a youngster? In OR. we have a PSA (i'm including a similar one below) that shows some kids talking in a vehicle while the driver is texting and she looks down and the next thing the car is demolished, cuts to a state trooper who says "If I had pulled her over minutes before and give her a warning, she would still be alive" or something like that, it really hits home. You would think it's common sense not to do it, but unfortunately a lot of teens have no common sense, it's up to their parents to keep them in line, if the kid insists on texting and driving, they should take away the driving privileges, a lot of kids think driving is a right and not a privilege that is until either a parent or judge takes it away. Of course I am aware there are adults who text and drive as well and there is no excuse for that, in my opinion you either pull over or face a maximum fine if caught, of losing your license for at least one year, better that than killing yourself or someone else! I am disgusted by how many people chose to ignore such a common sense law! Thanks for sharing all those great tips I hope the young people and not so young people heed them, we don't need anymore needless wrecks on the highway that could have easily been prevented by exercising some better judgment and self control!

    09-15-2016 01:34 AM
  4. Sim_8_3's Avatar
    Duplicate post please delete.
    09-15-2016 01:42 AM
  5. Sim_8_3's Avatar
    This is closer to the video PSA I was referring to, I wonder how many people after watching this will ever text while driving or drive while distracted again? I hope not too many!

    09-15-2016 01:47 AM
  6. Iam3697's Avatar
    I used to see a lot of people using bluetooth but not so much anymore. I hear that having the BT device up to your ear all the time would give the person hearing problems. I don't me hearing loos but like a ringing in the ear (what's that called) or the worst fear is cancer. Heck just about anything out there can give you cancer these days. So they just have their phone up the their ear or on speaker where everyone can hear their conversation. I think they were having bad connections from their phone to their BT also was another problem. But I just don't see BT used like they used to be.
    09-18-2016 02:27 AM

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