Tech Safety for Drivers: What You Need to Know

Technology is a wonderful thing. Gone are the days of trying to unfold a map in the passenger seat of a car while the driver panics as to whether they’re driving in the wrong direction in a rainstorm in the middle of the night. Instead all you need to do now is open up an app on your phone and it’ll take you straight to where you need to go – even avoiding any jams or taking shortcuts through single-track roads you’d never know existed without them. But, is the tech too distracting and actually unsafe? Let Scrap Car Comparison talk you through all you need to know to be safe with your in-car tech.

But first, if your car is lacking in a little tech or you’ve been nabbed by a police officer for sending a text at the traffic lights and now have no driving licence, then why not get rid of your old car? By using Scrap Car Comparison, you’re guaranteed to get the very best price, no matter what, and we’ll even come and collect it directly from you for free. Get started today and you’ll be given a quote in as little as 60 seconds.

How to set up ‘SOS’ contacts

A feature available on modern smartphones is one that everyone should set up as soon as they get a brand new phone. The minute details of Emergency SOS will change from manufacturer to manufacturer, but the premise remains the same – a quick and easy way for your emergency contact to be called by simply tapping the power button. Not only can you call your emergency contact, but the emergency services can also be called.

Each system will be slightly different, but you’ll need to ensure that your emergency SOS systems are switched on. These can be set to send a text message with your location following a call to your emergency contact, automatically call the emergency services when triggered manually or even automatically call the emergency services if it detects that you’ve been in a car crash. Check your phone’s specific settings to see which of these apply to you.

You can also choose to add your medical information to your lock screen, such as blood type, medication or allergies, which could prove life-saving if required by emergency personnel.

Mobile Phones, Driving and the Law

It should go without saying that using your mobile phone while in control of a car is illegal, but are there times that you can use a phone when behind the wheel? Well, no. The only time that you can use your phone is if your car is safely parked, and that does not include when waiting at traffic lights or in traffic. The only proviso is that you can make a 999 or 112 call but only if it would be unsafe to stop.

What you can do, however, is make a contactless payment with your phone in a vehicle that isn’t moving – so it’s okay to use your phone to pay for those late night nuggets through the drive-through window. You can also use your phone if it is being used to park your car remotely.

If you’re caught using your phone while behind the wheel, you can expect to have the book well and truly thrown at you, as the authorities do not look kindly on those breaking the rules. At the very least you can expect a Fixed Penalty Notice of £200 and six penalty points on your licence – enough to lose your licence if you’ve been driving for less than two years. This could raise by a further three points if you do not have a clear view of the road ahead or proper control of your vehicle, and you could be taken to court and face a fine of up to £1,000. Considering you only need to accrue 12 penalty points to have your licence taken away, or six if you’ve been driving for under two years, simply put, don’t touch your phone.

Legalities around using a smart watch

Rules for using a smartwatch are no different to those about using a phone behind the wheel. If you use your hand to operate it, you’re breaking the law and can face the exact same penalty as you would if caught using a mobile phone. However, if you’re only using your smart watch by using voice activation technology, then you should be okay – just don’t touch it.

This is all perfectly explained in Rule 149 of the Highway Code regarding mobile phones and in-vehicle technology: “You MUST exercise proper control of your vehicle at all times. You MUST NOT use a hand-held mobile phone, or similar device, when driving or when supervising a learner driver, except to call 999 or 112 in a genuine emergency when it is unsafe or impractical to stop. Never use a hand-held microphone when driving. Using hands-free equipment is also likely to distract your attention from the road. It is far safer not to use any telephone while you are driving or riding – find a safe place to stop first or use the voicemail facility and listen to messages later.”

Legalities around wearing headphones while driving

Welcome to the grey area. Officially there is no law in writing regarding wearing headphones behind the wheel, but they could still land you in hot water due to a number of other rules and regulations surrounding driving. If a police officer believes you are being distracted due to your headphones, you could be given a penalty for driving without due care and attention.

How can wearing headphones distract you? Well, when behind the wheel your ears are just as important as your eyes, and failure to hear another vehicle could result in an accident through delayed reactions, or you could impede an emergency vehicle if you’re unable to hear the sirens. If you find yourself involved in an accident and you’re wearing headphones, chances are the authorities will put the blame on you due to the potential distraction.

Careless driving can land you a fine of £100 and three points on your licence, but if your actions cause a much more serious accident or injury, then this could go up to £5,000 and nine penalty points, so, again, is it really worth the risk?

Get the best price with Scrap Car Comparison

Have you recently been involved in an accident due to a mobile phone user, lost your licence for using one or you simply want a new car that allows for easier hands-free options? Then Scrap Car Comparison is here to help you out. Simply provide us with the registration number of your car and your postcode and we’ll find you the very best price available for your car.

Whether your car is old or new, broken or not, we can get the best quote for you and as we only work with certified Authorised Treatment Facilities, meaning your car will be recycled in line with all legal regulations. Get started today and find out just how much your old car could be worth as scrap or salvage.

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