Distracted driving is one of the top reasons for serious auto accidents in Florida.
Consider these stats the next time you are tempted to use your phone while driving:
- About 500,000 U.S. residents are injured and more than 6,000 are killed in 1.6 million auto accidents every year, due to using a phone while driving.
- One-quarter of all teen drivers admit to texting every time they are behind the wheel.
- Your risk for a car crash goes up 23 percent when you read or compose text messages while driving.
- At 60 miles per hour, you can travel the length of a football field in the few seconds you take your eyes off the road to look at your phone.
Anytime you take your eyes off the road, you are putting yourself and others at risk for major injury or death.
Studies show that Snapchat is the app that is most distracting for drivers, and PokémonGo is next in line. No matter if you are texting, checking email or looking at social media posts while driving, you are taking a significant risk.
That’s why it’s so important to learn ways to keep your phone out of your hands when you are driving… which is exactly what we’re going to show you in this post.
Tips for Putting Your Phone Down While Driving in Florida
First, try these common-sense tips to resist the temptation to text and drive:
- Tell people that you will not respond or answer your phone while driving. Send a text saying that you are unreachable, or let people know your regular commuting times so they won’t call or text during those hours.
- Place your phone out of reach.
- Give your phone to a passenger who can handle calls or texts for you.
- Silence your phone when you get in the car.
- Remind yourself to keep your hands on the wheel and nothing else.
- Limit phone use only to navigation and place your phone on a cradle so you don’t have to take your eyes off the road to use it.
- If you must use your phone, pull over and stop to make a call or return a text.
- Enable the “Do Not Disturb While Driving” feature on your iOS 11 or subsequent updates.
Recommended Apps for Distracted Florida Drivers
Don’t quite have the willpower to stop using your phone on your own?
Thankfully, there are several apps that can prevent you from driving while using your phone. These are the best apps to keep you safe:
This app works in conjunction with a piece of hardware installed under your rearview mirror. It will disable texting or application use while you drive. The monthly fee is currently $7.95, but that’s a small price to pay for avoiding accidents.
If you are purchasing this app for your teen, the app is hard to disable and does not allow for driver interaction. Only an admin can adjust the system and receive reports on the driver’s actions.
This app allows you to turn incoming text messages into audio on your auto’s stereo system. It simplifies your Android phone interface system to help you auto reply with less distraction.
Parents can use this app to keep track of their teens while driving. You install the app on your phone and your teen’s phone, and the app will notify you if your teen is using a phone while driving. It will also alert you if your teen disables the app. Android users can completely lock the phone’s use.
This app is for Samsung users. It will send an automatic reply to texts you receive while driving. In-Traffic Reply self-activates when you reach six miles per hour. You can customize the automatic reply.
Use this Android app to silence calls, notifications, and texts while driving. You can customize an auto-reply message that you are unavailable.
This app uses a points system to reward the driver for not using a phone while driving. If you use your phone when driving over six miles per hour, you will lose points on the app. If you reach your destination without using your phone, you gain points that you can redeem with various retailers. It’s a fun incentive to safer driving.
If you want an app that provides automatic replies, silences notifications, provides rewards, and connects with the Bluetooth system in your vehicle, this app has it all.
In the end, it doesn’t matter what you do to lock your phone down while you’re on the road – just that you do it. The risks are too great, and the rewards… well, what exactly are the rewards again?
Everyone knows that technology can be addictive, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do everything in your power to fight back. Who knows? Maybe getting rid of your own distraction will make you alert enough to avoid accidents with other drivers who haven’t been able to kick the habit.
About the Author:
Andrew Winston is a partner at the personal injury law firm of Winston Law. For over 20 years, he has successfully represented countless people in all kinds of personal injury cases, with a particular focus on child injury, legal malpractice, and premises liability. He has been recognized for excellence in the representation of injured clients by admission to the Million Dollar Advocates Forum, is AV Preeminent Rated by the Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory, enjoys a 10.0 rating by AVVO as a Top Personal Injury Attorney, has been selected as a Florida “SuperLawyer” from 2011-2017 – an honor reserved for the top 5% of lawyers in the state – and was voted to Florida Trend’s ”Legal Elite” and as one of the Top 100 Lawyers in Florida and one of the Top 100 Lawyers in the Miami area for 2015, 2016, and 2017.