Text messaging has become just as much a part of business communication as it is for personal communication. Texting while driving or operating any piece of heavy machinery is not only a bad idea, but illegal in many areas.
We're not talking about an autosteer-guided tractor in a field. We're talking about road travel. While you may have Bluetooth control with voice recognition to send messages, it is better to wait to respond. Here are some ways to avoid texting while driving:
1. Put your phone out of reach. If you cannot reach it, you will not be tempted to use it for texting. You can also still use your Bluetooth-enabled hands free mode if you must take a phone call.
2. Set up a shortcut. You can indicate to the individual you are conversing with that you need to pause the conversation by typing "#X" before you drive. You can also add a keyboard shortcut to convert a phrase before you drive. On Android you can access and add to your phone's dictionary under "Settings" and "Language & Input." On the Apple mobile devices, you can access your keyboard shortcuts via "Settings" and "General." Shortcuts are also useful to setup as a timesaver when you text and are not in motion!
3. Download an app. Some wireless service providers offer free mobile device applications to allow you to setup auto-respond mode when you are in motion like AT&T DriveMode and Sprint Drive First. DriveSafe.ly offers its solution for the greatest number of device platforms including Blackberry, iPhone, Android and Windows Mobile, but includes a monthly fee. Want to prevent your employees from texting while driving? Check out Cellcontrol—a solution that helps to avoid device distraction and can also provide mapping history.
Do you use an application or solution to help to prevent distracted driving of vehicles or heavy equipment? Tell me about it in the comments below, on Twitter @nerdsquawk or via email at [email protected]
The opinions of Jessica Michael are not necessarily those of Farm Futures or the Penton Farm Progress Group.