While many may think of July’s endless summer nights, endless backyard BBQs, and relaxing days by the ocean, not everyone knows that it is also National Cell Phone Courtesy Month. This is the month, where we encourage technological etiquette for the 21st Century.  There are many ways cell phone courtesy extends to the road.

When driving and talking on the phone, safety should be your number one priority. In fact, it’s probably best to avoid being on the phone altogether. But if you have to take that oh-so-important call, make sure you’re hands-free, and follow these handy “phone etiquette” tips.

Your Horn is Loud

We get it. You don’t view your car horn as adding to the highway racket at all. On the road, it speaks for you. But, if you’re speaking to a loved one on the phone and in the car, please refrain from using your car horn, unless it’s an emergency.

Fresh Air: Good For You & Only You

Who doesn’t like the whipping of a cool, gentle breeze on their face during a perfect summer drive? Anyone on speakerphone. Your fresh air indulgence has dire, auditory consequences. It muffles your voice. Unlike drivers, passengers and birds, these folks won’t appreciate the wind. Consider a hands-free device instead.

Other Drivers Can’t Hear You. But They Can See You.

Some of us pace back and forth on the phone. Others make wild gestures while talking. For obvious reasons, these urges are channeled elsewhere during car-phone calls. Many drivers, make funny faces instead. Remember that pedestrians and fellow drivers may get the wrong idea if they were to see you in the midst of a facial contortion. Best to stay centered and treat your phone call in the car as if it were in public.

Don’t Forget To Say Goodbye

During face-to-face interactions, nonverbal sendoffs generally suffice. There’s the head nod, goodbye wave, two-finger peace sign and everyone’s favorite – the wink. Phones present a different set of issues and when driving, an activity involving the utmost concentration, people tend to forget this. So always remember to say “goodbye.” Or farewell, so long, adios. Something that makes it clear that the conversation, like this blog, has reached its conclusion.

It is best to avoid talking on a cell phone when driving. If you need to make a phone call, please visit cellphonesafety.org first for tips on safe driving with cell phones. Remember, texting and driving can be a hazard to you, your car and other people on the road.