99% of us drive a car, 99% of us use a mobile phone; but what’s the best way to do both?
Short answer – don’t.
Using your mobile whilst driving is illegal unless you have hands-free access; even then you must remain in full control of your vehicle. The police can pull over if they think you are not in control or distracted, and this law still applies if you are stopped in traffic, at traffic lights or supervising a learner.
The only times you can use a hand-held phone are if you are safely parked, or if you’re calling 999 (or 112) in an emergency, and it’s unsafe to pull over.
So, if you have to be contactable whilst in the car what are your options? The official government website mentions Bluetooth headsets and voice access as good methods and we at Cedaro agree.
If you have a nice, modern car with a Bluetooth stereo system, connect it up! But what if your car doesn’t?
For the last few weeks I’ve been testing a Bluetooth FM transmitter to connect my phone (via Bluetooth) to my car stereo (via an unused FM station). It lets me hear all of the audio emanating from my mobile through my car’s audio system, much like a Bluetooth speaker you’d have at home. Couple this with a dashboard car mount and you can quite easily partake in a telephone call in the car.
The problem arises when you have to initiate a call; leaning forward and tapping on the touchscreen would surely get the Rozzers ears to prick up.
Step in the voice assistant – Apple has Siri, Android the Google Assistant and both are capable of responding to your requests with the screen off (handset model and OS version dependent) so you just shout “Hey Siri, call my wife!” or “OK Google, text Dave, I’ll be at yours in fifteen minutes” and they will carry out your request with out any touching, poking or prodding the screen.
Google have also introduced an app called Android Auto, which when enabled, turns your phone into a car-friendly device, with big buttons and limited functionality to increase safety.
All in all there are really no excuses to be using your mobile whilst driving!