Even when we’re driving, many of us are overcome by the temptation to reach for our phone when we hear that ring, chirp or beep of a text or social media notification. We know it’s wrong, dangerous and now illegal, but the grip our phones have on us makes it difficult to resist the urge to pick up.
The best way to be safe and legal is to eliminate the temptation. AAA recommends getting in the habit of turning your phone off when you get in the car. Alternatively, you can find a special place for your phone where you’ll put it every time you enter your vehicle: leave it in your purse or computer bag, put in the glove box or place it inside a signal-blocking cell phone bag.
A signal-blocking phone bag is a small case made of material that prevents the signal from reaching your phone. Similar to turning off your phone, placing it in a signal-blocking bag means it won’t ring, ding or chirp, ultimately eliminating some of the triggers that make you want to reach for your phone. To help you make a commitment to drive distraction-free, your friends at AAA Washington are offering free signal-blocking cell phone bags when you come into any AAA store in Washington starting September 1 and sign a pledge to drive distraction-free. This offer is good as long as supplies last.
Having a place to put your phone when you’re driving will also keep you from running afoul of Washington’s new distracted driving law. The new law prohibits the holding and use of cell phones while driving – even if you are at a stoplight or stuck in traffic.
Here are some tips from AAA to help you avoid distracted driving:
- Put away or turn off all personal electronic devices.
- Adjust GPS, stereo and other in-vehicle systems before you hit the road.
- Pull off the road to take a call, eat or groom.
- Use a harness on your pet when they are in the car; this will keep them safer during a crash too.
- Don’t call or text someone you know is driving.
For more information about the new legislation and additional tips for staying safe, check out AAA.com/distracteddrivingWA.