QOTD: Using the Phone

Tim Healey
by Tim Healey

I had a conversation with a couple of non-auto-industry friends last week about cell phone use while driving. This started when someone complained about people not seeing green lights because they were on their phones.

I agreed that this is annoying. I added that I am rarely on my phone while the car is in motion and I am driving, for obvious safety reasons, though I will cop to a quick check of it sometimes while stopped a red. I also pointed out that if the light turned green, I drop my phone and drive instantly.

Cell phone use in cars has been problematic for a long time now, and despite people's awareness of the dangers of distracted driving I still see lots of bad behavior.

Bad behavior continues despite technology like smartphone mirroring, voice-to-text, and do not disturb options. Apparently, everyone thinks they're invincible.

I am not going to ask what the most annoying cell phone while driving habit is. That's too easy. Instead, I am going to ask -- what bad habit is yours? Or are you perfect at never touching your phone while driving?

I already admitted that while I am very safe about checking it while driving, I do occasionally glance at it when stopped. What about you?

Sound off below.

[Image: NDAB Creativity/Shutterstock.com]

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Tim Healey
Tim Healey

Tim Healey grew up around the auto-parts business and has always had a love for cars — his parents joke his first word was “‘Vette”. Despite this, he wanted to pursue a career in sports writing but he ended up falling semi-accidentally into the automotive-journalism industry, first at Consumer Guide Automotive and later at Web2Carz.com. He also worked as an industry analyst at Mintel Group and freelanced for About.com, CarFax, Vehix.com, High Gear Media, Torque News, FutureCar.com, Cars.com, among others, and of course Vertical Scope sites such as AutoGuide.com, Off-Road.com, and HybridCars.com. He’s an urbanite and as such, doesn’t need a daily driver, but if he had one, it would be compact, sporty, and have a manual transmission.

More by Tim Healey

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8 of 43 comments
  • Dukeisduke Dukeisduke on Feb 07, 2023

    I was behind a guy in a Nissan Frontier this morning, and he was driving about 10 under the speed limit. I passed the guy, and he was looking at his phone, scrolling.

    • See 1 previous
    • Dukeisduke Dukeisduke on Feb 07, 2023

      @ Teddyc73 Sorry for oversharing. I see lots of people do it. That and ignore stop signs.

  • Tassos Tassos on Feb 07, 2023

    Holding cellphones in one hand while driving and being distracted by them is the idiot's recipe for disaster.

    And there are millions and millions of such morons. As Mark Twain said, the average American is not very smart, and half of all Americans are even dumber than that. I believe this is true of most other nations as well.

    • EBFlex EBFlex on Feb 07, 2023

      "American is not very smart, and half of all Americans are even dumber than that."

      81 million people resemble that statement.

  • Mike-NB2 Mike-NB2 on Feb 07, 2023

    Maybe it's an age thing (56 here) but I don't use my phone when driving. I select an album or playlist on Spotify before I move the car. I don't make calls handsfree when driving and while I will answer calls, I tell the caller to make it quick and to the point because I'm driving. I won't chat on the phone in the car. I'm operating a 3500 lb mass of steel, glass, plastic and rubber and I owe it to everyone around me to pay attention.

    • Pig_Iron Pig_Iron on Feb 10, 2023

      I learned long ago that mobile phones are a leash, and since I gave up my old land line, they are a leash with a choke chain. I'd rather be a free dog. 🐕

  • Sgeffe Sgeffe on Feb 07, 2023

    The phone stays in my pocket unless I get caught in a traffic jam, in which case the stop-‘n-go function of the adaptive cruise can take over for fifteen seconds whilst I check Google Maps.

    Otherwise I use the Bluetooth controls on the steering wheel, and the caller usually gets tired of me asking them to repeat themselves because I was concentrating on the road.