Driving is probably the riskiest activity any of us will do during our daily lives. At the same time it is probably the easiest thing to do that you could get distracted from. We have all seen that person who is driving down the road reading a book, putting on makeup, or talking on a cellphone. It has been estimated that 1 of every 4 crashes each day is caused by distracted driving.
As you may or may not have heard starting July 1, talking on a hand-held cell phone while driving will be illegal without a headset or hands-free device. You won't be pulled over solely because you are driving while talking on a cell phone, but you can be pulled over if you are swerving or speeding. If you are pulled over the ticket is $124 (its the same for texting while driving).
You can still use your cell phone if you talk using hands-free device such as a Bluetooth or wired headset.
We don't have anything to do with the enforcement of this, that's up to the Washington State Patrol. But we will be watching to see how congestion is affected by this new law. Anytime there is a collision on the roadway traffic is significantly affected.
Here are some other useful tips to avoid distracted driving
- Think before you drive. Do you need a drink of water? Need to make a phone call? Need to move items off the seat into the floor so they don't slide around?
- Keep watch around the vehicle by shifting your eyes every few seconds and checking the rear-view mirror every five to eight seconds. This forces your brain to stay focused on driving.
- When approaching construction zones or crashes; be the one person who slows down.
- Watch for workers, changing traffic patterns and approaching emergency vehicles.
- Drive defensively. Know where your “out” is at all times and be prepared to use it.
- Signal your intentions early enough to give others more time to react to your move.
- Make sure the motorists around you are aware of you.
- The most important tip for safe driving is to simply be aware that you are in control of your own safety, and that of your passengers, and do your part to be sure your trip is the best possible.
- Above all, be careful out there!
How will this new law affect your driving? Will you wait to reach your destination, will you take the nearest exit? Will you buy that bluetooth headset?