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UScellular offers tech tips to help avoid distracted driving

April 26, 2024

April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month and it’s an important reminder to drivers everywhere that they should practice safe driving habits at all times. The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) defines distracted driving as any activity that diverts attention from driving, including talking or texting on your phone, eating and drinking, talking to people in your vehicle, fiddling with the stereo, entertainment or navigation system — anything that takes your attention away from the road.

The NHTSA’s latest research does show one promising statistic; passenger vehicle drivers talking on handheld phones decreased from 2.5 percent in 2021 to 2.1 percent in 2022.

This shift in driver behavior is likely attributed to increased usage of hands-free technology and “do not disturb while driving” features on smartphones. However, there is progress to be made to keep drivers safe as many drivers fail to utilize these options or do not know how to use them properly.

“Knoxville area drivers should be focused solely on driving safe, protecting not only themselves and their passengers, but others on the road as well,” said Thomas White, director of sales and operations for UScellular in Knoxville. “While technology can enhance safety on the roads, it’s important for drivers to understand the available tools to eliminate distractions.”

UScellular suggests the following tips to help drivers remain focused while driving.

  • Use Do Not Disturb While Driving. Built-in phone features are available to help drivers stay focused on the road. Driving Focus and Driving Mode can be utilized on iPhones and Android phones to enable “do not disturb” features that include limiting notifications, calls, and texts when driving. Individuals sending a message will see that the driver has silenced notifications or will receive an automatic reply while incoming calls are only allowed when connected to CarPlay, Bluetooth, or another hands-free accessory.
  • Utilize Handsfree Options When Necessary. Smartphones can be a resource for music, driving directions, and more. Before hitting the road, connect your device to your vehicle. This pairing process takes just minutes – local UScellular associates can also help drivers set up these features at no charge. If you have an older vehicle that does not have built-in Bluetooth, after market solutions such as the Scosche Pro Bluetooth FM Transmitter are available to add voice activated services.
  • Take advantage of apps. A wide range of applications are available to help eliminate distractions, focus on the road and track locations. OnMyWay allows drivers to earn money for every mile they do not text or use distracting apps while driving. The application also has a feature that can allow Knoxville businesses to establish a distracted driving policy. Business owners will have the ability to offer incentives to employees who practice safe driving while providing an added layer of protection for their employees and community. 
  • Establish rules of the road for new drivers. For parents of teens or young adults,a simple yet effective step is to establish rules and expectations with loved ones before hitting the road. UScellular and Screen Sanity offer a free, customizable Smarter Start Toolkit to help aid in this process. Families can outline rules for phone usage while driving including not texting and driving and using location and driving data apps such as Life360 and GeoZilla Family Locater.
  • Encourage safe, responsible driving behavior from the passenger seat. Passengers also have the power to help stop distracted driving behavior. Speak up if a driver appears to be distracted and ask them to focus on driving. Help reduce distractions by recommending alternatives like offering to text or navigate on behalf of the driver. 

About UScellular

UScellular is the fourth-largest full-service wireless carrier in the United States, providing national network coverage and industry-leading innovations designed to help customers stay connected to the things that matter most. The Chicago-based carrier provides a strong, reliable network supported by the latest technology and offers a wide range of communication services that enhance consumers’ lives, increase the competitiveness of local businesses and improve the efficiency of government operations. Through its After School Access Project, the company has donated more than $23 million in hotspots and service to help youth connect to reliable internet. To learn more about UScellular, visit one of its retail stores or To get the latest news, visit