Why I drive with a hand's free blue tooth head set in Texas!!
I have been driving with a hand's free head set for years. I have to admit I'm to the point of feeling like I'm not wearing a seat belt when I drive holding a phone to my ear. I was very recently talking on the phone to Deb Brooks when I hit a curb, which she heard and wrote about (lol). I was driving with my Bluetooth head set and was quickly able to get control of my car as I had both hands on the steering wheel. I rarely drive at night as I know that I'm not a good night driver with my astigmatism. I had dropped my husband off for a sail boat race and was on my way home when this happened. I was fortunate there was no damage to the tire or the car (I was in my husband's car).
This did get me to thinking about our Texas laws on driving with a cell phone. I'm always about less Government interference in our lives but just like the seat belt law saves lives I think it would be good to have a hands free law throughout our nation. I know that New York State has the law and I just think it makes good sense. I am constantly seeing people holding a cell phone to their ear while driving which means they are driving one handed.
As I said I have been driving with a hand's free head set for a number of years. There's a story behind my use of a hands free head set. My sister is a Manufacturer's Representative in Colorado. Quite a number of years ago one of her principles was driving home from work in Boulder. He had stopped to have a few beers on the way home (but was not sloppy drunk.) He was talking on the telephone and dropped his phone as he reached down to get it his truck swerved and he hit a gal on a bicycle and killed her. It doesn't take much alcohol to be considered under the influence and he went to jail for vehicular manslaughter for a number of years. He was wrong to be driving after drinking but I have to think that if he had a hand's free head set that gal would probably be alive today.
From that time on I have driven with a hand's free headset. As I said this was a number of years ago so the first head set's that I used were attached with a wire. I can't tell you how many of those I would go through a year. I was really good at dragging them out with me as I was showing clients. One time I even back tracked and found the headset but it had been driven over a few times.
When I got my first Sprint TREO I also got my first blue tooth head set. If you are going to go to a Bluetooth you are going to want to do some shopping. For me it came down to which one would fit my ear. I had to take several back as they were made for people with bigger ears than I have. I had one that worked for a year or so but it was very delicate and I'm hard on headsets. I was getting very frustrated finding one to fit and saw a gal with one on at a REALTORS®! open house and asked her what kind it was. It was a Plantronics and that is what I have used ever since. (Personally I don't wear mine in public places but that's just me.) My last one lasted almost three years which was a record for me. It broke as I was taking a CRS class down in Houston and on the way home from class that night I stopped in and bought another one. The cool thing is that the technology just keeps getting better and better. This one is even smaller than the last one but sounds better.
That day in our CRS class Alan Hainge had even talked about the blue tooth head sets. He recommended Jabba, Jawbone and Plantronics. The other two were actually supposed to be a little better but they are not better if they won't fit your ear so I stuck with Plantronics.
Would something have happened the other night when I hit the curb; that I don't know but I'm glad that I had both hands on the wheel. We live in a subdivision in a fairly rural area and the roads and the city are just now coming out to us so this was a fairly new road and is not lit very well. I now know to keep that in mind but for me I think my best recourse is to limit my night driving which I try to do. In all honesty since I'm not such a great night driver it would probably be smart for me to stay off the phone completely but I'm not sure that would have helped me to see curb.
If you have not got your hands free head set yet I would strongly encourage you to get one. They are not all that expensive; especially those wired ones. If you do get one have the person at the phone store pair it up for you as they know what they are doing. This is a bit of advice from the experience of trying to pair them. Personally I think a head set whether wired or blue tooth is money well spent and I hope someday it is the law of the land.
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