Phones and Handsfree

This is an image of a road as seen through a smartphone being held in a hand. It is somewhat artistic.
Flip Car/Flip Phone? Soure: Pexels

Dear Ms. Smartphone: I had a near-miss when texting. I will no longer be driving this way! It turns out that the lease on my car is about to expire so what would be a better choice when I go car-shopping? Quentin, Sausalito

Dear Quentin: I don’t do vehicle research, but I can guide you through the issue. First, when you buy a car, make sure that you put the car first, and the infotainment system second. Then, have a look at this recent posting from the AAA Foundation. Researchers from the University of Utah compared CarPlay, Android Auto, and native infotainment systems. The Utah team have been railing for years about distracted driving and smartphones so their software tests are informed and useful. BTW, they say that texting and setting a navigation system are the most cognitively demanding tasks.

Phone and Driver

Robo Calls in Cars- (Golf Digest 5/14/18)
Robo-Calls and Drivers (Graphic: Golf Digest, 5/14/18)

Dear Ms. Smartphone: Why do I feel the need to answer my phone when I am in the car? I know it is not safe, but I still feel the need to pick up the call. I feel so conflicted by this. K.P, San Francisco

Dear K.P. You didn’t state your age, but before smartphones and the answering machine, people answered the phone whenever it rang- it was rude to not do so. And, there were no safety concerns as phones were stationary (fixed to a wall). Today, phones travel with us, and that brings lots of safety concerns… but they also provide the security of maps and navigation. The easiest solution is to turn the ringer to ‘off’ when you drive and leave the GPS on. But, you can also sharpen your mental skills: keep looking straight ahead at the road, remind yourself that an important caller will leave a message. Bring to mind this is a ‘robo’ on two counts: it is stealing your attention, and, most likely, a robo-call.

Who Drives the GPS?

DearSmartphone and GPS
Getting Directions is Stressful!
source: express.uk.co.

DEAR MS. SMARTPHONE: WHEN I DRIVE WITH MY BOYFRIEND HE LIKES TO USE HIS SMARTPHONE TO GIVE ME DIRECTIONS. BUT HE  TURN DOWN THE VOLUME, AND THEN FORGETS TO REPEAT SOME OF THE INFORMATION. THEN HE GETS MAD AT ME FOR MISSING TURNS! Annie, Antioch

Dear Annie: It sounds like a control issue but no need for you to get mad. It is about safety so choose to take control. You could politely say that you want to try out a different app on your own phone, say you are experimenting with Waze instead of Google Maps or vice versa. Continue reading “Who Drives the GPS?”