Are you the person who just cannot ignore mobile phone while driving? You try hard not to touch your phone while driving or waiting at the traffic lights but unable to do so? You cannot help texting and driving? Do Whatsapp, Facebook and Snapchat notifications tempt you to pick up the phone and check what that is for? You try not to but always end up checking your friend’s latest posts or picture just uploaded while driving? You cannot wait to answer the phone call later when you have pulled over your car safely and turned off your engine?
You are not alone then. There are so many people who end up using their mobile phone behind the wheels unintentionally. This post will definitely help you to change your behavior. If you are the person who use mobile phone while driving because you simply do not want to avoid it, then it is the time to realize that how dangerous it can be for yourself and for others.
Here are the 6 simple steps you can take to ensure you keep your mobile phone out of your thoughts while driving.
Think About The Consequences
The first thing you should be communicating with yourself is the consequences of distracted driving and mobile phone addiction behind the wheels. The usage of mobile phone may lead to an accident with catastrophic injuries to yourself and others.
You should be thinking that it is just not other important lives which are at risk due to use of mobile while driving but also your own life is at risk as well. You should realize that your life is important too especially for your loved ones.
The second thing you should be considering is that it is against the law to use mobile phones while driving or texting and driving. In UK, the new mobile phone driving law is very strict. You could get 6 points on your license plus £200 court penalty, if you are caught using your mobile phone while driving. As a good citizen and Human Being, you should be law abiding in the country of your residence. Having 6 points on your license will have a significant impact on your insurance premium as well.
If you start thinking you may think of many more serious consequences of using mobile while driving and hopefully you will come to a positive decision of never use mobile phone when driving.
Plan Your Journey In Advance
If you normally use your mobile phone as a navigation tool, then it is always good to ensure you have checked the route prior to starting your engine. Remember, you will still be fined if you are caught doing route adjustment in your mobile phone when your engine is switched on.
I always use my mobile phone as a navigation tool but I have always found it very useful to look at the route prior to my journey and get the idea of the route. In this way I normally memorize the major portion of the route (like motorway exit junction number etc) and do not have to look at the mobile screen every now and then.
Pretend You Are Driving In 90s
This will for sure be helpful to you if you pretend you are driving in 1990s when there were no gadgets and you had to rely solely on paper maps and road directions. If you ask elders in your family who used to drive in the 90s decade, then they would let you know how they used to plan their journeys in advance.
The other benefit of this would be that you will be able to feel how good it was to drive in that era. You will notice that if your mobile is not around you then you can enjoy the beautiful scenery along the route. You will also notice the corner flower shop adjacent traffic lights which you have never noticed. You will be more focused on your driving and eyes will be on the road if you imagine your mobile phone does not exist at all when you are driving.
Put Your Mobile On Silent and Out Of Sight
You should be putting your mobile out of sight and on silent mode so that no call or text notification will distract you while driving. If you use your mobile phone as navigation tool then you should use text blocking apps to avoid getting whatsapp and other notifications. If you do not use your phone for navigation then you may put your phone in airplane mode.
Let Others Know About Your Driving Routine
It is best if you could let your relatives, friends and colleagues know about your driving pattern. For example, if your office colleagues know that Monday to Friday between 8AM to 9AM and between 5:30PM to 6:30PM you normally drive to/from work, then chances are high that they will not phone you during these timings as they would know that you are driving. Similarly, your relatives will not phone you if they know you drive your kids to Sports Club every Saturday between 10AM to 11AM.
You can also consider setting a voicemail message on your phone while driving which clearly suggest that you are not able to pick up the phone call because you are either driving or busy and will get back to them as soon as possible.
Let Your Partner Help You As Well
It is equally important that your partner or family steps in as well to help you to avoid using mobile phones while driving. You should have no mobile phone policy when driving with the family. Your partner on the passenger seat should think it could be equally distracted for the partner driving the car if he/she using phone and trying to show some pictures or posts to the driver while driving or probably trying to take a selfie with the driver.
My husband used to use mobile phone on passenger seat while I drive. He has a habit of laughing out loud on jokes and online funny videos. This used to tempt me what is he watching and what is it he is laughing about so much, eventually, causing distraction while driving. Then both my partner and I decided that we should have a no mobile phone policy when in car.
I hope the steps above are realistically easy to follow and will help you not to use your mobile phone while driving. If you have any other ideas in addition to the above, please feel to share those in the comments below so that everyone can benefit with it.