This time around I am going to focus on something that is more of a peeve than a knowledge based subject. Lately I’ve been more bothered than usual by those who choose to use cellphones while driving. But before I get knee deep in my rant about this subject let me be clear, I use my cellphone while driving. Always have and always will.. as needed or until the ‘powers that be’ completely ban it. Having said that, there is a right way and a wrong way to use your cellphone while driving.
First off, Texting. If you are texting while driving, STOP IT! You are not that good a driver and no one on earth needs your text that badly. Plainly put, your words, or rather what are considered words, are not that important. Not to mention if you keep it up you’ll likely do damage that you can’t undo. So get over yourself.
Head and Shoulders
Next, we all know cellphones are smaller than ever and definitely smaller than any old landline phone we used to use. Point being that holding a tiny, thin piece of plastic that weighs only a few ounces between your shoulder and ear while driving is complete idiocy. Turn your head 90 degrees to the side while standing up and try walking straight. Its not exactly second nature and that’s just walking. For those that do that while driving, let me tell you a little secret that the rest of us are thinking when we see you doing that. What a moron! We think that way because you are probably swerving in the lanes, forgot to use a blinker, cut someone out (because you can’t move your head to see traffic), ran a light or stop sign, or some other display of absolute stupidity all while behind the wheel. It’s ridiculous to think that holding the cellphone like that while driving is somehow sensible. Knock it off!
Cool Hand Luke
For those who take the one hand on the wheel and one hand on the phone approach, I must commend you for being less of an imbecile. Disclaimer: I put myself in this category to an extent. This method is better, but is still effective at impairing the ability to drive. You cannot pay attention when you are on the phone like that. Walking and chewing gum at the same time is one thing, but driving a multi-ton vehicle and holding a cellphone to your ear while maintaining a conversation is another. Again, you are not that good a driver! Back to the disclaimer, I ‘one hand it’ from time to time but its only to receive a call I can’t miss and I keep it short. For those of you who think 30 minutes is short, let me correct you, 1-2 minutes is short. I get the information I need and call them back if necessary. That’s just me and I know that not everyone can keep calls so short. Mostly though, I try to take calls without handling the phone at all.
Which brings us to the reason for this article. A little invention called ‘Bluetooth’. You see, they make these fancy little earpieces which fit snugly onto your ear and simultaneously connect to your cellphone so that you can have a conversation without the need to hold the cellphone, a la ‘hands free’. For those of you who have never heard of bluetooth earpieces, please forgive my sarcasm. For those who have, but are not using them while driving — get a clue because the rest of us are sick of adaptive driving and avoiding accidents because of you.
Bluetooth earpieces are relatively inexpensive, unobtrusive, small and the audio is quite clear. I don’t know of a modern cellphone that can’t pair (sync or connect to) bluetooth earpieces but if anyone knows of one then please enlighten me. There isn’t much more to say about the device itself, your cellphone and earpiece should both come with instructions for pairing the devices. Once they are paired, just turn them on and the bluetooth earpiece is ready to go.
Finding a retailer or merchant that sells bluetooth earpieces is relatively simple as they exist practically everywhere now. I’ve included some links below for easy reference and comparison. If none of the ones listed appeal to you, I encourage you to locate your nearest electronics store or even Target store and find one that suits your taste.
Newegg – Newegg.com carries just about everything related to computers and tech devices, including many bluetooth earpieces. Prices are reasonable.
Amazon – Amazon.com is a well known online retail company and have a valued reputation. They carry many bluetooth earpieces.
I’m Talking to You!
Finally, I’ll remind you all again, you are not that good a driver. For clarification purposes as to who I am directing this article towards, I’m talking to you ‘Minivan Mom’, and to you ‘Mr. Truck too big to be street legal’, and to you ‘Mr. Independent contractor’, and to you ‘Miss Thing’, and to you ‘Mr. Top down convertible reliving his youth’, and to you ‘Mr. Fancy Sports Car’, and to you ‘Mrs. I have more insurance than you’, and to you ‘Miss My parents can buy you’, and to you ‘Mr. Eco-friendly Prius driver’, and to you ‘Mr. Play the music so loud other cars shake’, and to you ‘Miss I can also do makeup while driving and talking’, and to all the others out there who insist on acting like they are the second coming of Danica Patrick or Dale Earnhardt but with more skill because you use a phone.
Buy a bluetooth earpiece and use it for Pete’s sake!
That’s the end of my rant on this topic. I hope in the end, those of you who read this will realize the point — which is safety on the road. Sarcasm and jokes aside, it really would be a lot more pleasant and safer for drivers if we didn’t have to deal with so many people not paying attention because they are on the phone.
We’re interested to hear what others have to say about driving while on the cellphone. Let us know your gripes, annoyances or even if you disagree with this rant.