Avoiding a Ticket

The summer driving season is about to start with a vengeance–the vengeance being the price of gas. But getting a ticket can be even more costly, and I don't mean just a speeding ticket.

Many states and municipalities across the country now have laws against using a cell phone behind the wheel–unless you have a hands-free headset. These can be wired or wireless. I suggest using a wireless model because the last thing you need are cables that can get tangled up in gear shifts and brake pedals, a potentially more dangerous scenario than talking on the phone. Wireless Bluetooth headsets can be had for as little as $25, but you get what you pay for. To find out about my current favorite model, see "Headset on the Highway."

If you're wondering what states have traffic laws against plastering a cell phone to your pate, the Consumer Electronics Association has launched a site called DigitalDriver.org (NB: the .org designation) to help you out. The site includes tips on how to stay alert behind the wheel, avoid distractions, and find the latest safety gear. For your edification, there's also a map pointing out which states have handset laws.

But even if you'll be traveling in areas where cell phone laws aren't applicable, I recommend getting a wireless headset for the car. It won't guarantee that you still won't become distracted, but at least you'll have both hands on the wheel.



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About jquain

Technology reporter, writer, and television correspondent, JQ has been covering the computer, communications, and consumer electronics industries for more than 25 years.A contributor to The New York Times, Popular Mechanics, PC Magazine, U.S. News & World Report and many other publications, JQ appears on CBS News television program Up to the Minute and on Fox Business.
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