There are few things in life that don’t come with both positive and negative features. For example, there are foods that are good for you and foods that are bad for you. Even the foods that are bad for you are generally okay in moderation. The problem is, these “bad” foods are usually the ones that taste the best! Since it is something you cannot live without, it is important to use a food wisely to keep yourself healthy and safe.
Something You Think You Can’t Live Without
A cell phone plays an integral part in the lives of almost everyone these days. Unlike air, water and food, a cell phone is something you can technically live without although you might be tempted to think differently when you note the dependence and attachment that many people have to them. In our busy information and data filled lives, a cell phone allows us to do things that were unheard of as little as ten years ago. With an internet-enabled phone, you can communicate with anyone, anywhere in the world and you have access to all of the knowledge that mankind has ever assembled in the palm of your hand. Those things sound like things that are good for you, right?
It’s Like Eating in Church
There are many places where the use of a cell phone is inappropriate. It is always sad to me to see couples (or even entire families) out to dinner together and everyone is totally engrossed with their phones and not engaging with one another. One of my biggest pet peeves is the guy who won’t put his phone away while trying to ring up his own groceries. While both of these examples range from unfortunate to aggravating, they are not really the problem. The problem arises when the cell phone is used in a place that is completely inappropriate, behind the wheel of a car.
Having a cell phone with you in the car can work to your advantage. If you experience car trouble, it is helpful and handy to be able to call for help. You can use your phone to report an accident or crime in progress and a stranded motorist is always grateful for a little roadside assistance. But, just as with food, a cell phone must be used correctly to achieve the best results.
Nationwide, cell phones are implicated in over 1 million auto crashes every year. The number of potential distracting features of phones increases with every update. While once distractions were limited to texting and making phone calls, now many of us use cell phones for playing music or podcasts and for keeping current on social media. Even navigation apps carry with them at least some level of distraction.
So What’s a Driver to Do?
With a gadget as handy as a cell phone, it is hard at times to divorce yourself from it. Being on a cell phone outside of the car carries with it the danger of not being present in a conversation or of robbing you of a little sleep. In the car, the stakes are much higher. Use your cell phone sparingly behind the wheel and make your interactions with it as hands-free as possible. If you use a music app, make sure your playlist is something you can live with for the length of your commute. If a tune pops up that is not a particular favorite, be sure to know the location of the “Skip” button so that you may move ahead without looking down. Download apps like Live2Txt or Drivesafe.ly Pro that will read aloud your texts and emails in real time and will automatically respond to the senders of texts that you are currently driving and will return their texts soon as possible. Keep in mind that Facebook will always be there and how ironic it would be to wind up in a crash yourself while tweeting about one that you had just seen.