The other day I was reading an article and the fright factoid was stated that drivers using cell phones accounted for more traffic accidents than did alcohol.
Now I dunno....first off it was from the Associated (with terrorists) Press. I dunno how much credibility you can give to an organization as anti-american as they are. On the one hand they are making America look bad...which is the AP's mission. On the other hand it's my personal experience as a trucker that about everyone seems to be using a cell phone while driving.
On the whole I'd have to say that's it's possible that AP is correct...this one time.
It's fixable though.
First off...use a wireless headset.
I've tried several. In fact I think that between me and the wife we've probably spent close to a thousand bux on them. Five hundred for sure.
Motorola pretty much sux. Oh they look pretty....very light weight.....comfortable.
A headset you can't hear on isn't very useful is it?
This observation has come by testing.
To begin with I pretty much liked motorola headsets. My first Sprint cell phone was an LG slider...it was so tiny that the only way I could use it was to keep a sharpened fingernail (to punch the buttons) and to use a bluetooth headset. So...I started off with a motorola HS810.
This worked pretty well. The LG (I later found) was an unusual phone in that it had a higher than normal volume control. It went to ten. Todays phones dont do that. They mostly go only to eight...or maybe even just seven.
I was told (repeatedly) by the nice young feller at the phone store that the phone setting didn't matter....it was the headset volume control position that made the difference. Yeah...right.
I knows what I knows.
So...anyway. I bought maybe four...more like six...Motorola HS 810's. Why so many?
Well they had a limited battery life....bout half a day. So I'd have one on and one on a charger.
When the one I was using ran down I'd switch. Sometimes in mid-talk. With the little swinging boom thingie you could do that. Then I decided I needed a "back up" in case one failed.
And one did....fail that is. Wouldn't keep a charge.
Then there was the one I ...."ooopsed". (crunch)
Stuff happens. They broke...I got more. I was happy and I suppose motorola was happy. Back then they were more expensive than now....over a hundred bux I think. Motorola was making money off me why wouldn't they be happy.
Then (the horror...the horror) I was looking for a replacement for the latest oopie (hey...I'm a trucker....my equipment leads a tough life..and sometimes it dies.) and I couldnt find one. It had been discontinued.
Oh..but we have a newer model which is better the nice young salesman said.
It wasn't. Couldn't hear.
So I struggled. Didn't stop me from buying headsets. Maybe one day one would work.
Bought more phones too....but I'm talking about headsets right now.
Finally one day at the phone kiosh in the Petro near Reddick Florida I saw something called the RoadWarrior...made by an outfit called BlueParrot. (funny name)
Big...ugly...cumbersome....and it's uncomfortable.
But it's LOUD. Ohhhhhhhhh yeah. Way loud. Loud enough I gotta "manage" the volume while driving....with the window down. And it's noise canceling. I can be driving (with the window down) and be talking to someone and they've repeatedly commented on whether or not I was stopped...it was so quiet.
And it holds a charge too....lasts all day.
On the whole it's OK. Ugly..uncomfortable and people look at you funny...but it works.
Better than Motorola...or any of the others I've tried. I've tried a lot too.
And then...and thennnnnnnnn....I found this.
It's called the Voyager 510 by Plantronics. I bought it at that very same Petro come to think of it. Not that the Road Warrior wasn't doing the job....it was. But I don't like it much.
I like the Plantronics. I't loud too....though not quiet so much as the RoadWarrior but MUCH better than current Motorola's. It doesn't hurt my ear so much as the RoadWarrior but it's not quiet as comfortable as the Motorola's.
However it's got a feature that whups em both.
I have two phones. (hey...I wear suspenders AND a belt...what's it to ya?)
Well this little jewel will answer BOTH of em.
It's like this. I set both phones to "automatic answer". I'm driving down the road and the phone rings....(hands still on the wheel...eyes on the road.) ...the phone answers.....(hands still on the wheel...eyes on the road)..a little "bee-ooop" sound in the head set and then I'm talking.
When I'm done I touch my ear (button on the head set actually ) to hang up. It'd hang up all by it self (hand still on the wheel) but I don't trust it.
Then say the other phone rings....(hands still on the wheel...eyes on the road) ....it's set on automatic answer also...the headset automagicly connects to IT.
See above rinse and repeat.
If both phones ring at the same time one goes to the headset and one goes "on hold".
But that's to complex for me.
So ...fixing the "cell phone " problem is techically easy....just add money.
Getting folks to pay attention to what theyre doing?