Internet Safety: Driving Safely with Mobile Devices

Lesson 13: Driving Safely with Mobile Devices


Driving safely with mobile devices

The best way to stay safe is to avoid using a mobile device entirely while driving. Some states even prohibit cell phone use while driving. Visit your state's department of transportation website to check on the laws for your area. If you must use a mobile device while driving, follow these safety tips.

  • Do not dial while driving. Dial before you pull out into traffic or while you are stopped at a light or stop sign. Also, do not try to take notes or look up phone numbers while driving.
  • If you must answer a call while driving, make sure your phone is within arm's reach. Otherwise, safely pull over or let the call go to voicemail.
  • Use a hands-free device that will allow you to keep both hands on the wheel. Be sure to set up the device before your trip or when you're stopped and not while driving. (Note: Some studies show that using hands-free devices does not improve safety while driving.)
  • Get off the phone when driving in hazardous conditions. Heavy traffic, bad weather, difficult merges, and even unfamiliar routes can be especially dangerous while using a mobile device. Hang up and focus on your driving in these conditions.
  • Emotional or stressful conversations can be distracting while driving. If you start to get upset, pull over or suspend the conversation.
  • You should never text, browse online, or watch videos while driving. It is too dangerous. If you use GPS navigation, program your trip before pulling into traffic, and pull over if you need to reprogram your route. While driving, keep your eyes on the road and rely on the GPS voice for directions.
  • No matter how scenic or fascinating a view is, you should never attempt to take a photo or video with your mobile device while driving. It's too disorienting. If it's safe, pull over. If it's not, let it go.