Columns

November 27, 2009

Inside Insurance: On the phone in your car? Yes, you can! No, you can’t!

Smart phones are so cool these days. Talk to people. That’s so old school. Text them and they’ll text back. Get on the Internet and check your stocks or check on the big news story of the day.

Wait. What’s wrong with my phone? It won’t work!

 An even higher tech device that prevents you from sending or receiving calls blocks your high-tech phone as long as your car is moving.

Remember that other high-tech gadget called the GPS device? The GPS has an evil twin that’s keeping track of you if you install this new gadget that puts you in a “cone of silence” as far as your cell phone is concerned.

According to a recent New York Times story, there’s one system called ZoomSafer and others called Aegis Mobility and obdEdge. The idea is to protect you from yourself when you drive.

Some motorists like to have a phone in their hand and talk while driving. Then there’s another phone-junkie group that likes to literally stick a phone in their ear called a BlueTooth device so they can talk and have two hands free to drive.

Thanks to some more recent technology, and some help from Microsoft, your car radio system can use voice technology to find and dial numbers for you by voice command. You have both hands on the wheel and it’s all automated.

Only one tiny problem remains.  If you are on the phone while holding it, using a BlueTooth device in your ear, or talking on your phone through your car’s radio system, you are still on the phone and you are still distracted. Once you are engaged in a conversation, the same rules apply using one hand or both to drive.

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