Playing Houseboat

Its Your Call

Car phones are stretching the day's business into the commute. Appointments are set, family concerns are talked out, and deals are done.

Is it safe to mix talking and driving? A recent study by Canadian scientists concludes the risk of an accident increased fourfold when drivers were talking on the phone. While it's unlikely people will give up their car phones, the study points up the need to use care and common sense when making calls from your car. Here are some tips to make car phones safer:

1. Dial only when it's safe to take your eyes off the road for a second, and preprogram frequently called numbers.

2. Buy a hands-free phone.

3. Keep calls short and light.

4. If you're even slightly concerned that using the phone may distract you, pull over to make the call.

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This article was originally published in the April 1997 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Playing Houseboat.

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