Driving a car in Michigan makes you a participant in a system designed to keep you from going broke and having a crummy quality of life if you’re in a bad auto accident. This system is governed by our state leaders and it consists of laws, contracts, licenses, medical providers, funding mechanisms, and other state provided/supported resources. It’s a good system. On June 30th, it gets better.
The new and more strict cell phone laws (a subset of our state’s distracted driving laws) are our government’s response to our inability to manage our use of cell phones while we’re driving. Google “mcl-257-602b” to get some details on the revised law. You’ll see that the fines for violating the new law are miniscule. To me, the greater benefit of the revised law are the conversations that might be generated in our households. Distracted driving is a huge contributor to auto accidents that cause serious injuries and death. This is worth a family discussion.
The revised laws are intended to keep our attention focused on the road. That’s why it’s now illegal to hold your phone while you drive and (1) type on it; (2) read what it says. This includes while you’re stopped by traffic or a stoplight.
The goal here is to reduce the distance our eyes travel to look at our phones, and to reduce the time our attention isn’t fully focused on the road. There are better options than holding your phone in your hand or having it on your lap or on the console of your car. The best option is to use the voice control features on your phone so you don’t even need to look at your phone. Also, most vehicles built around 2014 and later allow you to transfer many of your phone’s apps to the screen on your dashboard. Or, get a cell phone mounting device that holds your phone closer to your line of sight to the road. Amazon has a TON of these things to pick from. Mrs. Michael ordered ours yesterday after she read this article!
We have a choice in how we choose to use technology. Let’s make better choices!