Insurance Insight: Do not dial ‘A’ for accident on your cell phone

Published 12:00 am Monday, June 10, 2002


Cellular telephones offer many advantages while we are in route from point A to point B.

They have simply become a part of the way we live these days.

However, I must quickly add, it is critical that those using cell phones do so responsibly. Irresponsible use of cellular telephones can bring much harm.

Some jurisdictions are now limiting cell phone use while driving. Our freedom of access in the future could depend on our attention to safe usage today.

Inattentive behavior while driving – eating, talking, day-dreaming – can have serious consequences.

If you use a cell phone while driving, do not forget what you are doing – you are driving!

One study found that cellular telephone users were four to five times more likely to be involved in a crash than those not using phones while driving.

The American Automobile Association has recommended the following:
1. Keep your attention on the road by programming frequently used numbers to minimize dialing.
2. Dial sensibly. Wait for a stop light, ask a passenger to dial for you, or pull off the road to make a call (be careful about where you stop).
3. Do not use your telephone during distracting or heavy traffic situations.
4. Never take notes while driving.
5. Place your phone, or have it mounted, within comfortable reach in your usual driving position – close to your line of vision.
6. Avoid intense conversations while driving.
7. Disconnect your cell phone when using jumper cables. The power surge could “blow out” your cell telephone.

If you have a cellular phone in your vehicle, enjoy it – but do so responsibly.

While you are making all those plans, remember to get there safely.

MIKE WILLIAMS is a State Farm insurance agent with an office in LaPlace.