When using a mobile phone while driving, safety is the most important call you will make. According to Australian Mobile Telecommunications Association, all drivers can make safety their first priority by following these ten simple steps.
Always use hands free
In Nigeria and most countries, it is illegal to use a mobile phone while driving unless you use a hands free in-car-kit or portable hands free device. When using a portable hands-free device, make sure it is set up and working before you start to drive. A hands-free device can reduce the physical effort to make and receive calls; however, it alone doesn’t make using a mobile phone while driving safe.
Plan your trip and make calls when stationary
Whenever possible plan your trip and try to make calls when stationary or during rest breaks in long trips.
Don’t call in heavy traffic or weather conditions
Don’t accept or make calls if traffic and weather conditions would make it unsafe to do so. Also, always tell the person you are speaking to that you are driving and that you may have to end the call if driving conditions change.
Don’t engage in complex or emotional conversations
If a call becomes complex or emotional tell the person you are speaking to, you are driving and suspend the call. Complex and emotive conversations on a mobile phone, or with other passengers, and driving don’t mix – they are distracting and can be dangerous.
Use message services to answer calls
If a call is unnecessary or you consider it unsafe to answer at the time, don’t answer the call and let it divert to voicemail or an answering service.
Pull over safely if you stop to make a call
If you choose to stop to answer or make a call or retrieve a message, pull over carefully in a safe area. Don’t stop where you could be a hazard to other vehicles, pedestrians or yourself.
Use your phone’s features to reduce the effort to make a call
Carefully read your phone’s instruction manual and learn to use the speed dial and redial features of your phone. Also, if possible, use a phone with voice activated dialling and automatic answering features to reduce the effort to make and receive a call.
Never take notes, look up phone numbers, read or send SMS
Always keep both eyes on the road and never take notes during a call. Don’t read or send text messages or Short Messaging Service while driving. If required, use a directory assistance service which connects you directly to the number and don’t look up phone numbers from your phone’s memory.
In emergencies, use your phone to call for help: Dial 122 to reach the Federal Road Safety Corps, in case of fire, traffic accident, road hazard or medical emergency.
In Lagos State, dialling 767 or 112 will give you access to the Lagos Emergency Service which covers police, ambulance service, and traffic service.
Even if you are in a poor signal area, dial 112 to connect using the carrier with the best coverage in the area. If the phone does not have a SIM installed, you can still dial 112 to connect to emergency services.
Here are a few simple gadgets that can make driving a little more convenient for any car owner, as highlighted by Business Insider.
A car charger
You can never really have enough ways to keep your smartphone kicking. If you have got some emergency calls to make, you need your phone’s GPS, or you just want to make sure your device lasts through the end of the night, a simple car charger like should do the job.
You need a model that is compact, with more than one port and charges fast.
A Bluetooth car kit
Those chargers are handy if you need to use your phone while driving — to do that safely, you should look into a Bluetooth car kit.
A Bluetooth functionality in your car lets you wirelessly stream music, make hands-free calls, and talk to assistants like Google Now or Siri. If you are mostly focusing on calls, a speakerphone that serves up clear and powerful sound will be useful.
A phone holder
All hands-free gadgets become less useful if you have to reach over and grab your device just to confirm what you are doing. A basic holder puts the phone where you can see it, making things just a little less stressful. Magnetic mounts tend to work just fine.
A GPS system
With the smartphone becoming the hub of everything we do, dedicated GPS systems have understandably dwindled in popularity. And truthfully, if you are fine with your phone filling that role now, there is no pressing need to switch. But if you are worried about saving battery, using the phone separately, or potentially losing service, there is still value in having a GPS device in your car.
Automatic car adapter
The Automatic car adapter measures your braking, speeding, and fuel conserving habits, eventually giving you a score on how smooth you were on a given week.
It can also sense and diagnose any problems that activate your check engine light, presenting them in an app instead of making you head to a mechanic. If you have ever been paranoid about wasting gas, the added info might be worth it.
Tyre monitoring system
This is a set of Bluetooth-enabled sensors used by drivers to measure tyre pressure and temperature in real time, send that data back to your smartphone, and alerts you of any forthcoming issues. Even if the driver is out of range, the alert will sound when he approaches the car and prevent him from driving a potentially dangerous vehicle.
A dash cam
This is a type of camera designed to record sounds and images in the car while you are driving. It is usually that is mounted on the dashboard of your car.
Public privacy concerns aside, a dash cam is good to have on hand if you are worried about having footage to present for any future accidents.