Now that July is here, Tennessee’s new hands-free phone bill is in effect. Drivers will now receive fines if the police catch them holding the phone in any capacity that doesn’t involve an emergency situation.
This will be difficult for many motorists to adjust to. Thousands of drivers still use phones for many necessary functions that don’t involve texting, and now they can’t access them without risking potential penalties. It is crucial that you and your family begin adjusting for the following cellular activities:
Thousands of people are used to putting one hand on the wheel while using their other hand to hold the phone to their ears. Now that the state no longer allows it, you will need to find some other ways to talk to the other person on the line if they call you while you’re on the road. If you have someone else in the car with you, have them speak to the other person or make them put the phone on speaker mode.
If you are by yourself, you still have several options. Most cars produced in the 2010s have Bluetooth connectivity, allowing you to hook up your phone to your car and speak with the person without picking your phone up. If your vehicle does not have this, you can still install a Bluetooth car kit, adapter or car stereo to update it for the new law.
Using the GPS
Officers were unsure whether certain drivers were putting in coordinates or texting their friends before, but now they don’t have to worry about that. Put in the destination before you leave the parking lot or driveway so you don’t have to touch it on the road and mount your phone to avoid continuously looking down at the cupholder.
In case you think there is something wrong and you decide to change destinations, you have multiple options to enter your new location. If you have a friend, have them enter the new place while you drive. Otherwise, you could use voice command to tell your GPS to change routes. However, this method can be a little distracting while driving, so you may want to pull over on the side of the road or near a parking lot to type in your new destination if you feel voice command doesn’t work well enough.
While this new law hopes to decrease the amount of distracted driving in cities like Nashville, it will take a while before most drivers are accustomed to it. If you or a loved one suffer from a driver that doesn’t follow these new regulations, contact a motor vehicle accident attorney to help with your expenses.