It can be so tempting to just send a quick text or make a call when you’re behind the wheel to say that you’re on your way home. Yet the consequences of using a hand-held phone when you’re driving can be disastrous or even deadly.
At the very least it’s illegal. If you’re caught, you’ll get three penalty points and a £60 fine. But it can be much worse. You’re four times more likely to crash or injure someone if you use a hand-held phone when driving.
Now for the stats.
Following a recent study, the RAC warned that mobile phone use when driving is a growing problem. A staggering 48% of drivers aged 18-24 admitted to having been distracted by their smartphones while behind the wheel.
It’s always safest to pull over to make or receive a call, or wait until you’ve finished your journey to check your phone. After all, the risk of having an accident outweighs the rush of grabbing your phone when it pings – only to read a text saying your latest bill’s ready.
But if you can’t avoid making phone calls on the move, we’re asking you to think smart and reduce dangerous driving by going handsfree. There are plenty of safe options to choose from – and they don’t have to break the bank.
Here are our top three:
1) Bluetooth headsets.
Bluetooth headsets are a must-have if you make a lot of calls in your car. Placed neatly on your ear, they transmit calls through your phone wirelessly using your phone’s Bluetooth connection.
Some phones come with a Bluetooth headset in the box, but you can also buy your own. We’d recommend the stylish Jabra Arrow Bluetooth headset, but you can browse other options here.
2) In-car holders.
If your phone has a good loudspeaker, why not buy a holder for your car? We recommend the affordable Griffin Window Mount at £15.
3) Stereo headsets.
With a stereo headset you can listen to music or take handsfree calls. We love Nokia's stereo headset: it’s understated, stylish and gives pretty good sound quality for the price.
Don’t forget, you can also plug in standard headphones in order to have a handsfree conversation, as most have a built in microphone on the cord. Yes, you’ll have to fiddle around with wires before you set off, but it’s better than breaking the law.
Often you’ll get these included in the box with your phone – so it’s worth digging them out, as these can cost up to £80 when bought separately.
You can find all of these products at our online accessories store. These handsfree options will help you to safely arrange your plans on the drive back home.