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Your cell phone…you never leave home without it, right? Especially when you’re about to head out on a road trip. We all feel safer on the road when we have a cell phone with us. But be careful not to get lulled into a false sense of security. There are certain circumstances when your phone won’t do any good. Following these easy cell phone smarts can help.

Charge your phone

charging cell phoneMake sure your phone is fully charged before you head out. You don’t want to run out of battery when you need it most. This may seem like a no-brainer but how many times have you left with a low battery thinking “It’s only a few miles, I’ll charge it when I get there?” You never know what might happen between point A and point B so charge your phone before you leave. Take along a charger with an adapter and keep it in the console for easy access.


exit sign IIWhether you need to call 911 for emergency assistance, call for a tow truck to pull you out of a ditch, or call a friend or family member because you’re lost, you’ll need to provide your location. If you have a smart phone and a healthy data plan, you can use an app to pinpoint your exact location. If not, you need to know where you are so you can tell emergency personnel how to find you. Keep a mental note of where you are as you travel. What exit did you just pass? Is there a landmark nearby – highway overpass, town, unique restaurant or store? Keep in mind that a sign for a McDonald’s does you no good since there’s one at every exit!

Emergency Contact

ICE app screen IBe sure to have your emergency contact in a place where emergency personnel can access it. If it’s in your contacts but your screen is locked, it’s of no use. There are apps available that will display your emergency contact on your locked screen. Check out ICE (In Case of an Emergency) and Over.


Boost-Network-Signal-Strength-on-iPhoneCheck your cell phone service for the areas you will be traveling in. Is there a chance of dead spots along the way? If so, find out what your carrier’s roaming policy is.


Place your phone in a location that’s easy to get to but also secure. Even a small fender bender or a minor spin can send a phone flying. The closed compartment of your console is a good place to store your phone when on the road. It’ll stay put in an accident and you’ll be less tempted to use it when driving.


DISTRACTED DRIVINGAnd finally, it goes without saying (but I’ll mention it anyway!), be safe when using your cell phone on the road. No text, tweet or post is worth putting your life and the safety of others at risk. Pull over if you have to make a call. Studies show that even hands free calling can be a distraction.