(BPT) - Mobile phones have become an essential part of life for most people, helping them stay connected and increase productivity. However, this technology can also be a distraction when driving, which puts everyone on the road at risk.
More than one-quarter of all car crashes involve phone use, both with handsets and hands-free, the National Safety Council reports. Considering many states and countries don't yet compile and report data on cellphone use following a crash, this number is likely much higher.
Distracted driving isn't just an issue for young adults. High technology use means this is a problem across generations. For professionals in particular, the expectation to stay productive and reachable means a constant temptation to use cellphones when driving.
Recognizing the ethical and liability issues that arise when employees drive while distracted, employers across the country have begun implementing distracted-driving policies. Typically, these policies prohibit employees from using mobile phones while driving on company time.
In January 2017, the NSC reported that Cargill was the largest privately held company to prohibit the use of mobile devices, including hands-free technology, while an employee is driving on behalf of the company. Cargill's Chairman and CEO David MacLennan just marked the one-year anniversary of following the policy.
"I had to try the policy myself first," says MacLennan. "Once I knew what it would take to go completely cellphone free in my car, I could then make it work for our entire company."
Based on his experience, MacLennan offers these six simple steps for anyone looking to eliminate distracted driving yet stay productive and responsive to your job.
1. Auto response
Use a free automated response app to let callers know that you’re driving and can’t take the call. You can personalize the response so incoming calls or texts receive a text message saying you're on the road.
If you’re driving a vehicle outfitted with communication technology, use its “do not disturb” feature to unplug from calls and texts while behind the wheel.
3. Block drive times
Just as you schedule meetings, use shared calendars to block times you’ll be driving. This alerts anyone else connected to your calendar when you’ll be out of touch.
4. Out of sight, out of mind
A study by AT&T found that 62 percent of drivers keep their phones within reach in the car. Put yours where you can’t see or reach it, such as in the back seat.
5. Pull over
If you must take a call while on the road, let it go to voicemail and pull over in a safe location to return the call. Plan pull-over "cellphone stops" along your route if needed.
6. Avoid all distractions
Cellphones aren't the only cause of distracted driving. Eating, grooming and reading are activities people try to tackle while driving. Be smart and simply stay focused on the road.
Driving safely should be everyone's top concern when behind the wheel. These simple steps can make it easier to resist the temptation to pick up the phone or do another activity that can wait until you've arrived, safely, at your destination.
(BPT) - Chances are you chose your current car or truck because of specific features or performance capabilities. These vary from vehicle to vehicle, and what one automobile may have, the other may lack. Thankfully, there are many ways to enhance the performance of your car or truck. According to the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA), upgrading stock parts with aftermarket versions can instantly improve your car's performance and is relatively simple to do. Many companies offer different options for your car, so do your research and install the part that best suits your needs.
Replace the air filter: An air filter helps remove dirt and particles from the air that your engine uses to burn fuel. Clean air results in better gas mileage and improved acceleration. Filters are also designed to allow the correct amount of air into the engine for optimal performance. By increasing the amount of clean air that enters your engine, you increase its air-fuel mixture, resulting in improved performance.
To increase the amount of clean air entering your engine, simply replace the stock filter with a performance aftermarket air filter, which will help enhance horsepower, acceleration and torque, and may also provide better fuel economy and longer engine life. Additionally, some aftermarket air filters don't need to be changed as often as stock filters because they don't get clogged as quickly, and some you can clean yourself and put them back to use.
Upgrade the exhaust: After improving your engine combustion with an aftermarket air filter, upgrade your car's exhaust system for better performance. If your exhaust pipe is too small for the amount of combusted air that is now exiting the cylinders, it will lead to an increase in air resistance and create back pressure. By simply replacing the stock muffler you will create better airflow. To further enhance performance, have a qualified expert installer add aftermarket headers and bigger pipes.
Reduce weight: By just lowering the overall weight of a car, you will enhance its performance, especially in regard to acceleration. An easy way to reduce weight is to replace the stock wheels, which are typically made of steel, with alloy models. Alloy wheels will not only lower the weight but also enhance the look of your car. Other easy ways to reduce weight are by using ceramic brakes and running a lighter aftermarket battery.
Almost every part of your car can be replaced by an aftermarket version made of lighter material, such as carbon fiber or aluminum, so look into what part swap will give you the biggest weight savings for your buck.
Switch oil: Something as simple as switching to a higher-quality aftermarket oil can enhance performance. A higher-quality oil reduces friction between the moving parts of an engine, resulting in less power needed to operate. It may also do a better job of dissipating heat, which can extend the life of your engine.
Research: The aftermarket industry offers many choices to enhance the performance of your car, so be sure to research what's available. Manufacturers introduce new products annually at the SEMA Show, the leading trade show for businesses in the automotive industry. Consumers are able to connect with some of these businesses at the official SEMA Show after-party, also known as SEMA Ignited, where one-of-a-kind custom vehicle builds featuring the newest aftermarket products parade out of the convention center before making their way to the ultimate car show open to the public. For more information, visit www.semaignited.com.
Interested in Publishing on The Auto Idea?
Send your query to the Publisher today!