Phone Road Safety Tips

While a cellular phone can be a useful tool in helping to increase personal safety, there are additional steps you can take to protect yourself while on the road. The National Traffic Safety Institute recommends:

Phone Safety

  • Install and use the hands-free or speaker phone option to allow you to keep your hands on the steering wheel and your eyes on the road.
  • Make sure your phone is mounted where you can easily reach it while driving.
  • Familiarize yourself with all of the operations of your cellular phone and learn to use it without looking. Keep your attention on the road by programming frequently called numbers into the phone’s memory to minimize dialing.
  • Dial sensibly. Wait for a stop light or pull off the road to dial — or ask your passenger to dial for you.
  • Don’t use your cellular phone in distracting traffic situations. Pull off the road to make a call.
  • Be careful about where you stop to make calls. Parked callers may become victims of phone theft.
  • When calling 911 to report an emergency, be prepared to provide the closest major cross streets or off-ramps, and know your cellular phone number.
  • Use your voice mail to take calls or leave yourself messages. Don’t take notes while driving.
  • Disconnect your cellular phone when using jumper cables — the power surge could seriously damage your phone.


Use your phone to prevent collisions

In the United States, close to 37,000 people are killed each year in auto-related crashes. Of those, 16,000 Americans are killed in alcohol-related auto collisions.

Today, more and more drivers are using their cellular phones to fight impaired driving — and we urge you to join in this important fight. In many areas, wireless telephone companies,  Mothers Against Drunk Driving, and law enforcement have teamed up to encourage cellular phone users to report impaired driving by dialing 911 — a good way to help save lives and get impaired drivers off our roads.

Use your phone to report emergencies

Cellular phone users in the United States make nearly 50,000 calls each day to report highway and neighborhood emergencies — and you can be a part of this important communications network. To report road hazards, auto collisions, crimes in progress and other emergencies, simply dial 911 on your cellular phone — a free call with most cellular services.
When valuable seconds count, your cellular phone can help save lives and property by reducing emergency response time and providing law enforcement with vital on-the-scene information.

In addition, an increasing number of local radio and television stations rely on cellular phone users for up-to-the-minute traffic and news reports. Some stations even provide special newsroom lines for cellular calls.

In An Emergency

Know when to use 911 — The Highway Patrol wants to make sure you call 911 at the right time; only in a true emergency. Please follow these guidelines:

Emergencies (Use 911)

  • Unreported traffic collisions
  • Any life-threatening emergency
  • Any crime against you or another person
  • A vehicle or object blocking traffic lanes
  • A suspected impaired driver


Non-Emergencies (Do Not Use 911)

  • A stalled vehicle that is out of the roadway
  • A broken-down vehicle that is not a hazard
  • Winter road conditions
  • A stolen vehicle where no suspect information is available


Do Not Report At All

  • A traffic collision where emergency crews are on the scene


What To Provide

When you dial 911 from your cellular phone your call is routed to the appropriate emergency response authority. Please be prepared to provide:

  • Exact location of vehicle in distress
  • Nature of emergency
  • Your name and cellular number including area code