A neutral perspective appreciated - dh on phone whilst driving

(90 Posts)
GhostsComeWith Tue 11-Aug-15 18:37:05

Dh and I are having an argument over this. Firstly some background: I don't drive and dh drops me to work and collects me at lunchtime each day.

Today he collected me and we were in city traffic at a red light when his phone rang, he answered it and proceeded to have a conversation with the caller whilst driving. The caller was ringing to let him know he had texted the information to him, so while I don't think he should have answered the phone in the first place, he certainly should have just said, 'thanks, I'm driving. talk later' instead of 'chatting'. I was telling him to get off the phone while he was on it.

When he hung up we had words about the fact that he had taken the call. I was very cross about it. The year before last he was in a serious accident where he drove into the back / side of another car while distracted with his phone. Both cars were written off, though thankfully no injuries.

He immediately said I ought to show more gratitude. I queried for what and he said 'for the fact that I drive you around the place every day'. I challenged that and said that me being cross that he was on the phone whilst driving has nothing to do with being grateful for the lifts. He kept repeating that I was ungrateful.

When I reminded him of what had happened previously he said I was responsible for that as I had texted him and he was looking at that and if I hadn't texted him the accident would not have happened. I refused to accept that and told him that he should have checked his phone when he had pulled over for coffee (he was doing a 4+hr drive that day with an early start and I was texting to see if he was there).

A few months ago he had another very long journey (5+hrs) and the next day he mentioned speaking to his mum and sister and when I asked when he has spoken to them it turned out that he had phoned them individually on the drive 'to pass the time' We had a massive fight about that too.

I am still really cross that he is brushing off how dangerous this is and a few minutes ago he accused me of 'losing the run of myself because he picked up the phone'.

Am I the one in the wrong here? His continuance to take risks driving is driving me mad!

PurpleWithRed Tue 11-Aug-15 18:39:25

Does he have a handsfree? If not then YANBU. If he does then it's really a matter of personal taste; I avoid it now as it's still marginally more dangerous to drive with a handsfree than with slightly too much alcohol in your system but it's not actually illegal.

TheFlis12345 Tue 11-Aug-15 18:40:13

Does he have hands free? If not he's breaking the law.

PurpleWithRed Tue 11-Aug-15 18:41:24

Although personally I think he's a knob, given his history, and if he gets caught he's in danger of losing his licence.

overthemill Tue 11-Aug-15 18:41:24

He's breaking the law. Report him

BeautyQueenFromMars Tue 11-Aug-15 18:41:26

It's illegal and he's being an arse.

PiperIsTerrysChoclateOrange Tue 11-Aug-15 18:44:08

In my car the phone is connected via Bluetooth to the CD player and I can answer the phone using the steering wheel buttons.

However I still say I'm driving and will ring back.

He is breaking the law and will be fined and points on his license.

GhostsComeWith Tue 11-Aug-15 18:44:46

No he does not have a hands free. He put it on speaker. We have just had another row about the fact that he blamed me for texting him the time he crashed. I am so bloody mad with him

DoreenLethal Tue 11-Aug-15 18:48:11

Just get a hands free kit - they have been around for years. There is no excuse and blaming you for texting when it is 100% his fault for reading it is really bad form.

CassieBearRawr Tue 11-Aug-15 18:51:26

Well he's breaking the law, so good luck explaining that he was just passing the time or blaming someone for texting him if a cop pulls him over.

YANBU he's acting like a knob. Do you think he feels a bit invincible after those crashes and thinks nothing bad will happen to him?

MrsTerryPratchett Tue 11-Aug-15 18:51:32

He put it on speaker? So he wasn't holding the phone while driving? I don't know what is illegal in the UK but surely that counts as 'hands free'. Studies have shown that just speaking on a phone while driving is distracting (more than talking to a passenger for all sorts of reason) and he shouldn't be doing it. Particularly when he has form for crashing while doing it hmm

GhostsComeWith Tue 11-Aug-15 18:55:21

Thank you for the replies. I will be showing them to him. He puts it on speaker and then holds it in his hand while his hand is on the steering wheel if you can imagine that? But it still requires fiddling to hit swipe the 'answer button' and then put on speaker and then disconnect and given everything I just think (wish ) he would not answer it at all till he has parked.

amothersplaceisinthewrong Tue 11-Aug-15 18:57:39

I think you should learn to drive and then you don't have to rely on him.

He should not of course be doing anything with a mobile phone whilst driving.

GhostsComeWith Tue 11-Aug-15 18:59:04

I think you are right amotherslace

TeamBacon Tue 11-Aug-15 19:00:16

The law says that you can't hold the phone while you're driving. It doesn't matter if it's not to his ear, he's still breaking the law. Hands free kit, or cradle and loudspeaker technically ok (unless the law has changed again).

EeyoresTail Tue 11-Aug-15 19:04:43

He's a twat. I wouldn't be in a car with a driver if they were using a mobile.

InTheBox Tue 11-Aug-15 19:12:33

There's no neutral perspective to be had. The fact is he's breaking the law and that's the long and short of it. Tell him to get a hands-free kit.

bigbluebus Tue 11-Aug-15 19:16:31

I would start learning to drive quickly so that you can still get around when he gets a driving ban/prison when he kills someone.
Alternatively you could buy him a hands free kit - although I'm not convinced they are any less of a distraction but at the moment they are legal.

Could he live with himself if he seriously injured or killed someone when on the phone and driving? When his kids are passengers in a car, or pedestrians, does he want the drivers around them paying full attention to the road, or is he OK with them being distracted by their phone?

I think I read somewhere that using the phone whilst driving has a similar effect on your driving to alcohol - would he drive drunk?

If he is caught, he could get a fine of £100 and 3 points - or could be taken to court, where he could be fined up to £1000 and disqualified from driving. And if he has an accident and kills or injures someone whilst on his phone, that could be considered an aggravating factor, and could lead to a more serious charge.

And whilst it is legal to use a hands-free phone, if the police considered he was being distracted by his phone, he could still be charged.

Bottom line - you are right and he is wrong - and a dangerous idiot.

If he tries to pull the 'it's no more distracting than having a conversation with a passenger in the car' line, you can point out that the passenger is far more likely to be aware of the traffic situation, and to stop talking if necessary.

WeAllHaveWings Tue 11-Aug-15 19:18:36

I would have zero respect for someone who knows it is 1) against the law because its dangerous 2) beyond his skills to both drive and use a mobile as he already had an accident 4) his own dault but tried to blame me hmm.

Sorry to say your dh is an arrogant arse who putting his life and ability to work on the line when there is such an easy hands free alternative. What type of man does that? Does he want to risk one day leaving you and your kids bereaved due to his arrogance? Also, I wouldn't be in a car with someone fiddling about with a phone.

WantToGetLost Tue 11-Aug-15 19:20:13

He needs to get headphones. having a big ole convo whilst driving is wrong

Iggi999 Tue 11-Aug-15 19:28:42

He really doesn't give a shit about the driver he hit last time, does he?
If that didn't bring him up short what will? The first child he kills?

TheWintersmith Tue 11-Aug-15 19:46:35

You are right

He is wrong

Hands free kits are v cheap on eBay, mine was under £10 and is entirely adequate.

I tend to use mine to answer a call and say either 'I'm driving I'll call you back' or if it's vital ( injured small child kind of thing) then hang on I'm finding a safe place to pull over, then I'll start talking when Im off the carriageway.

Purplepixiedust Tue 11-Aug-15 19:53:37

He is being an arse, both for being on the phone while driving and for blaming you for the other accident because you text him!

SacredHeart Tue 11-Aug-15 19:53:57

My husband was hit by some idiot on there phone, luckily he is a responsible, good driver so gas his handbrake on otherwise his injuries would have been much worse.

They nearly ruined my wedding, had my husband out of work for 2 months and were so blazé about it as it was two company cars so "the insurers will just pay out".

I would never accept someone I know talking on their phone in the car, it is the height of arrogance.

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