The easiest way to free up your hands for old-fashioned car activities like steering and shifting is to put your phone down. Metro News Service photo

Hands-free mobile device use for beginners

As states begin to enforce hand-held device bans, BestRide.com offers suggestions on how to best use the technology you already own.

At a recent vehicle technology seminar at MIT hosted by the New England Motor Press Association, the expert panel members were in agreement on very little except one thing. Many of today’s vehicle owners don’t know how to use the technology they already own. Here is a quick primer on how to use the hands-free mobile device technology in your vehicle.

Use your hands to drive – and more

The easiest way to free up your hands for old-fashioned car activities like steering and shifting is to put your phone down. Your adaptive cruise control is where your right hand should be. Your vehicle’s infotainment controls are where your left hand should be. Another helpful technology can also be controlled by your left thumb – your phone’s answer and hang-up functions. If you are still holding your phone in your hand, and many drivers still are, here’s how you can stop fumbling with the thing and still take a call if one comes in.

Sync your phone

First, you need to sync your phone to the vehicle. You only need to do this when you get a new phone or a new car, so we understand if the functions seem intimidating. However, it is very easy and there are many resources available to help you.

Once the two are working together, you never need to touch your phone again to accept an incoming call.

Park to make calls

We are not big fans of outgoing calls being made from cars. We suggest you stop in a parking spot with the vehicle in Park to make calls if you need to. However, you can also use the hands-free voice controls to initiate a call.

An even better and safer way to use one’s mobile device hands-free is to connect to Apple CarPlay or Android Auto if your vehicle has the feature. Almost all new vehicles do.

— John Goreham/BestRide.com

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