Talking or texting on a cell phone while driving is taboo almost everywhere across the country. Thirty-nine states now ban texting while driving and 10 states prohibit any use of a cell phone without a hands-free device.
But that doesn’t mean drivers are using their phones any less. In fact, smartphones are more popular than ever. There are 91.4 million smartphones in the United States, and 89 percent of smartphone owners use their phone throughout the day, according to Go-Gulf.com. These phones are a lifeline, both in the office and while on the road.
Not only are states developing laws restricting the use of electronics for drivers, but law enforcement is cracking down on violators as well. According to the California Highway Patrol, California police issued 425,041 tickets last year to motorists accused of texting or talking on cell phones while driving. According to the NYPD, police officers in New York issued 141,816 cell phone tickets last year.
April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month, the perfect time for drivers to recognize the dangers of holding and using a cell phone while driving. A recent study done by AT&T shows that adults text behind the wheel more than teens even though 98% of adults admit to knowing it is dangerous. The National Highway Traffic Safety Association reports that drivers are 23 times more likely to crash while texting behind the wheel.
Hands-free devices make it easier for drivers to use their mobile devices without removing their hands from the steering wheel or eyes from the road. The Plantronics M55 headset won a CES award for in-vehicle accessory. The headset is discreet, lightweight, and offers a long battery life of up to five months. If a call were to come in while a driver is behind the wheel, they only need to say “answer” to begin the conversation. Users also can orally command the headset to update their social media status on Facebook or Twitter, email, text, check voicemails, and listen to music. This allows users of all ages to communicate in many different ways besides just a phone call without taking their hands and eyes off the road.
For those interested in an over-the-ear headset that allows phone use while on the go, whether it’s on foot or in a vehicle, the Plantronics Voyager Legend is another great option. The headset provides users with crystal clear audio quality and up to seven hours of talk time. This headset has smart sensor technology that allows users to just put on the headset to answer an incoming call.
Drivers need to be aware of the dangers of distracted driving, as well as how laws are changing across the nation. For more information on driver safety and current legislation visit the Plantronics website.