Believe it or not, I can still remember when cell phones didn’t exist. When we first started using cell phones, they were terrific. Everyone drove with a brick secured between the ear and shoulder with no speaker but what was in the earpiece. It was just like holding an old telephone receiver wedged against the head. No one saw any problem with that. No wonder the chiropractic business has flourished as it has. Oh, how things have changed. Or have they? I still see people trying to hold a thin smartphone against their ears with their shoulders. Sigh.
Cell phones now come with hands-free speakers and Bluetooth devices that hook right up to your car stereo. Some newer vehicles can block the driver from receiving a text while the transmission is engaged, or the car’s software will read a text message to the driver. For others, the automobile will prevent the driver from connecting the Bluetooth device unless it is parked. A driver has no excuse for talking or texting while driving, yet we still see people holding a phone to their ears while they motor down the highway.
Car insurance companies have linked more accidents to cell phone use—especially texting—than any other cause. As a result, what once was a nonchargeable violation has become a major violation.
Think about it before you take the position that it is in the car insurance companies’ favor to make this a major violation. People using their cell phones while driving are distracted. If they aren’t on their phones, they are looking at their phones. They are dialing, checking social media, or texting. That means their focus leaves the road. How many times have you seen someone fail to move when the light turns green or cross over the line while driving? They won’t see you when you must stop quickly, nor do they observe the dog or child run into their path. Those drivers aren’t prepared to react when another distracted driver cuts them off. So, they aren’t driving defensively, and they don’t respond, risking not only their lives but the lives of everyone around them.
How do you stop people from driving distracted? Simply making it illegal has not worked. If you get a cell phone/texting ticket, you will pay the fine of as much as $500 and up to $40.00 a month more on your car insurance for three years. That’s almost $2,000 over that time. Better that than a life of misery remembering what pain you may have caused the loved ones of those you have injured or killed. Money still isn’t enough for people to stop using their phones while driving. What will get people to stop?
There are various ways to handle phone calls and texts while you are driving. The one that works best for you depends on the age of your vehicle. As hands-free technology develops, we’ll share more with you on this site. Call us at 503-489-3143 if you have had a cell phone-related ticket and have dropped by your insurance company. We’ve got companies that will still take you. At Pulse Insurance, we care about you. We care about the guy in the car next to you. And we care that we are behind you.