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We know that mobile phones are an essential part of everyday life, but do you know everything you need to about phones in the car? We’ve covered all the essentials here!
A Brief History of Phones in the Car
Phones haven’t always been banned from the car and at one point the car phone was actually a focus of technological development. In 1946 the first car phone was introduced by Motorola in the US, and it made it to the UK in 1959.
The car phone was essentially the first mobile phone as it allowed you to be contacted and to contact others while on the move.
As the technology for mobile phones was developed the car phone became obsolete. It was much heavier and cumbersome than a mobile phone, even those of the 90s, and took up space in the car that could be put to better use, so manufacturers stopped offering them in the late 90s.
The mobile phone was truly revolutionary and the technology in them advanced very quickly moving from simply making calls to now being able to play music, record videos, play games, bank online and much more.
Due to the speed at which the technology advanced and what became possible on a mobile phone legislation was introduced in the UK in December 2003 and it has continued to be amended in line with the tech advances to make sure drivers and other road users are as safe as possible.
Current Rules on Mobile Phones in Cars
This year we saw a tightening of the rules that now mean touching your phone while in the driving seat is nearly completely illegal.
A previous loophole meant that if drivers weren’t using their phone for communicating they weren’t breaking the laws relating to phone usage.
You should not touch your phone if you are driving, and this includes when stationary if the engine is running. The only exception to this is while you are stationary at a drive-thru in order to pay for goods using contactless payment.
You’re still able to use hands free technology to make and receive calls or for navigation purposes provided it is secured in a cradle and you do not touch it. If your phone connects to an in car infotainment system then you are also able to use this sensibly whilst on the move.
Passengers are allowed to use their phones whilst in a car, but it is recommended they do not distract the driver with these so don’t show them things on the screen, play loud or startling sounds or a video with flashing lights.
Five Tips to Help You Not Use Your Phone While Driving.
- Turn on do not disturb or silence your ringer so you don’t get notifications that tempt you to look at it while driving.
- If you don’t have a hands free system or smartphone connectivity in your vehicle then we recommend investing in a system that works for you. If you need to use maps on your mobile then get a secure cradle that fits your vehicle, if you often make calls while on the go then a hands free connectivity system is what you need.
- Have your playlist / podcasts all queue up so that you don’t get tempted to find the next track while driving. If you have a car with smartphone pairing or integrated controls you can still use the vehicle controls to move to the next song.
- If you’re not using your phone for navigation purposes then physically put it out of your reach while in the driver’s seat.
- Don’t be distracted by other’s phone use in the car. Your passengers are able to use their mobiles but you should not let them distract you with them.