Can I safely use my cellphone while driving?

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New Orleans attorneyAs the technology in cellphones increases, there is also an unfortunate increase in driver-distraction. People are texting, tweeting, checking their email, answering phone calls, and setting reminders while they should be paying attention to the road.

As an auto accident attorney in New Orleans, I see the painful results of these actions all too often.

Recently, I found an article from Progressive that gives some helpful tips for drivers with concern for cellphone safety.

First, get to know your device and its features before you ever hit the road. Read the manual, memorize the keypad and speed dial functions, and know how to answer calls, all without looking at your phone.

When the option is available, a hands-free device is the safest way to go. You can choose from mounting devices to Bluetooth earpieces, all which make your drive safer.

Position your cellphone within easy reach, somewhere where you can grab it without taking your eyes off the road. If a call comes in at an inconvenient time, let it go to voicemail.

Do not take notes or look up phone numbers while driving. If you’re reading a business card or to-do list while driving, your eyes are not on the road.

If possible, place phone calls when you are not moving (like a stop sign, red light, or when you are still parked). If you are in a situation where you have to dial while driving, dial only a few numbers, check the road and your mirrors, then continue dialing.

Do not engage in emotional conversations that can be distracting. Mixing stressful emotions and driving doesn’t usually end well, and can make you quite dangerous behind the wheel.

A cellphone is actually a great safety tool to have with you when driving. Use it to call for help after an accident or to contact roadside assistance if you break down.

If you have any questions about auto accidents involving cellphones, or have been in an auto accident recently, contact an experienced auto accident attorney.

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By George Vourvoulias

George is a founding member and managing member of Harmon, Smith & Vourvoulias L.L.C., a New Orleans law firm. George concentrates his practice in maritime personal injury, construction litigation, personal injury, workers' compensation, medical malpractice, and DUI defense. George Vourvoulias's Google+ Profile