June 16, 2017
Katie HugginsStaff Writer
We’ve all seen the headlines – U.S. roads are getting more dangerous because of distracted drivers.
That’s why more and more states are adding hands-free driving regulations to make the roads safer for everyone. In fact, 14 states now ban the use of hand-held cellphones while driving and 47 states outlaw texting behind the wheel.
Text messages are among the most common smartphone distractions. The average one takes your eyes off the road long enough to travel the entire length of a football field when driving 55 miles per hour, according to the Centers for Disease Control.
The right tech, however, can help make sure you arrive safely at your final destination. Here are a few examples.
Many of today’s car stereo receivers can wirelessly connect through Bluetooth to your smartphone so you can make hands-free calls or text messages. And there are adapters that can connect with an auxiliary cable input, radio or cassette player to provide hands-free calling.
“It’s easier than ever to eliminate the need to pick up your mobile device while driving,” says Geek Squad Autotech Billy Mosso. “You’re able to answer the phone, make an outgoing call, hear and respond to text messages, and control your favorite music app through voice control.”
Apple CarPlay and Android Auto do exactly that. The devices install into your dash, allowing you to send messages and take calls hands-free.
Thirty-five percent of drivers search for directions while they’re on the road, according to Garmin. Many GPS systems, such as the Garmin DriveSmart, now include voice activation to eliminate the distraction of rerouting or searching for directions on your phone. And they’ll send alerts when you’re approaching an animal crossing, a road hazard or a stretch of road where the speed limit changes.
Meanwhile, head-up displays, like Navdy, latch onto your dash and project a transparent image on the windshield ahead. That allows you to stay focused on the road ahead while making sure you don’t miss your next turn.
Starting with the 2018 model year, all vehicles made for sale in the U.S. must offer a backup camera solution. But, even if you have an older car, it’s not too late to add this technology.
EchoMaster Rear-View Mirror Back-Up Camera Kit and Pearl RearVision Wireless Backup Camera are quick and affordable options to make your car safer. And our Geek Squad Autotechs can help with the installation.
Also, dash cameras record the driver’s view, capturing every detail of an accident or memorable road trip. Some, like the Uniden DC4 Dash Camera, are even equipped with lane-departure warnings for added safety.
Vehicle diagnostic devices pair with smartphone apps to monitor driving habits including speed, car location and can pair up with some smart home products like Nest. The devices also give you an update on your car’s performance, so you can to keep an eye on the engine, battery and other systems to make sure you don’t get stranded.
Head to your local Best Buy and speak to one of our expert Blue Shirts to find out more about how tech can help you be safer in your vehicle.