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Thursday, 15 September 2011

Mobile Phones and Driving - Safety Tips

When using a mobile phone while driving, safety is the most important call you will make. All drivers can make safety their first priority by following these ten simple steps.

1. Always Use Hands Free
In Australia it is illegal to use a mobile phone while driving unless you use a hands free in-car-kit or portable hands free device. When using a portable hands free device make sure it is set up and working before you start to drive. A hands free device can reduce the physical effort to make and receive calls; however, it alone doesn’t make using a mobile phone while driving safe.

2. Plan Your Trip and Make Calls When Stationary
Whenever possible plan your trip and make calls when stationary or during rest breaks in long trips.

3. Don’t Call in Heavy Traffic or Weather Conditions
Don’t accept or make calls if traffic and weather conditions could make it unsafe to do so. Also, even if the traffic conditions are light, always tell the person you are speaking to that you’re driving and that you may have to end the call if driving conditions change.

4. Don’t Engage in Complex or Emotional Conversations
If a call becomes complex or emotional tell the person you are speaking to, you are driving and suspend the call. Complex and emotive conversations on a mobile phone, or with other passengers, and driving don’t mix they are distracting and can be dangerous.

5. Use Message Services to Answer Calls
If a call is unnecessary or you consider it unsafe to answer at the time, don’t answer the call. Let it divert to voicemail or an answering service.

6. Pull Over Safely if You Stop to Make a Call
If you choose to stop to answer or make a call or retrieve a message, pull over carefully in a safe area. Don’t stop where you could be a hazard to other vehicles, pedestrians or yourself.

7. Use Your Phones Features to Reduce the Effort to Make a Call
Before using our phone while driving, carefully read your phones instruction manual and learn to use the speed dial and redial features of your phone. Also, if possible, use a phone with voice activated dialing and automatic answering features to reduce the effort to make and receive a call.

8. Never Take Notes, Look Up Phone Numbers, Read or Send SMS
Always keep both eyes on the road and never take notes during a call. Don’t read or send text messages or SMS (Short Messaging Service) while driving. If required, use a directory assistance service which connects you directly to the number and don’t look up phone numbers from your phones memory.

9. Tell callers you’re driving while on the phone
Always let the person you’re speaking to know that you are driving. This lets them know that you may not always respond immediately and reminds you that driving safely is your first priority. Hello, I am in the car at the moment.

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