Siri can do some amazing things. Ask it what song is playing and it can access the Shazaam database and tell you the song. Ask it how many calories are in the food your are eating and you may order something else. Even ask it how many planes are flying overhead! You ask and SIRI answers.
Siri can also help you to be a safer driver.
The importance of Hands Free Driving:
Have you ever seen someone driving their car while reading emails or text messages? Hopefully you aren’t doing this!
People are doing this all the time and our streets have become danger zones as a result. Distracted driving has resulted in a lot of unnecessary damage and loss of life.
Ultimately, the best option is not to use your phone while you are behind the wheel. But if you must be available then it is important to use the right technology to keep yourself and others safe.
The first thing you should do is make sure you have a good hands free system in your car.
If you have an integrated Bluetooth Handsfree system in your car then all you have to do is pair your phone to the car and your good to go.
If you don’t have a built in Hands Free system in your car there are a lot of portable bluetooth hands free car kits available at a reasonable price.
Here are some examples:
The Jabra FREEWAY Bluetooth Speakerphone
Depending on where you live the Hands Free Driving Legislation will determine what equipment you need to purchase. For example, some jurisdictions will not allow suction cup car mounts that attach to the windshield. However, most hands free driving laws require that your device is not loose in the car.
Ok… now you are set up to safely make and receive phone calls in your car.
Note: Some studies show that this may not be the case.
Can SIRI read SMS messages to me while I drive?
The safest option is to only use your phone when the vehicle is safely parked on the side of the road. If you are going to drive while making voice calls then as long as you have a hands free system with a car mount for your phone you should be safe and legal.
But what if you need to receive text messages while driving?
Maybe you are a courier that gets pick up notifications delivered by SMS. If you had to pull over every time you get a message it could affect your productivity. And in most jurisdictions it is not legal to hold your phone to read texts even while stopped at a red light.
If you have an iPhone you can set SIRI up to read your text messages or emails to you while you are driving. This way you can comply with the hands free driving laws in your area.
Here is how to set up SIRI to dictate your SMS messages to you while driving:
First press and hold the home key and simply say, “Siri, read my text messages.”
SIRI will proceed to read your SMS message and when finished will ask if you want to reply. You can say yes or no.
You can also say… no, read the next one. And if you have another message SIRI will read it as well.
If you want to be completely hands free then you’ll want to have SIRI always on. This way SIRI will always be listening and you won’t have to hold the home key down to use SIRI. The BC Hands Free Driving Legislation does allow for one touch dialing (if phone is propperly fixed to the dash) but you’ll need to check your local hands free driving laws.
Using SIRI for outgoing texts while driving:
Ok… what if I want to text my boss and tell him I’m going to be five minutes late.
To use SIRI for send an SMS message to someone all you have to do is press the home key until you hear SIRI is active and say “Text” followed by the name of the person you are texting. If you are texting more than one person at a time say “Text” followed by “Name 1 and Name2”. You need to say AND between all the names in order for SIRI to understand. If the person is not in your contacts then you can say a phone number instead.
SIRI will then open the iMessage app and ask you what you want the message to say.
Dictate the message to SIRI and then SIRI will display the message on the screen and asks you if you would like to send it.
You can say Yes or Send to send the message or you can say Cancel to discard the message.
If you say No, SIRI will ask you what you would like to do with the message.
You can Send, Cancel, Review or Change it.
If you are driving and can’t read the screen then saying “review” is a good choice. SIRI will read you the message and then you can choose to Send it or Change it.
So, if you are not using SIRI while driving I highly suggest that you start now. If you are using an Android Device you can do this too by saying “OK Google”. Blackberry 10 has Blackberry Assist and Windows Phone has Cortana. No matter what Smart Phone you have you will be able to drive safe.
Another option is to use one of the many Safe Driving apps that are available in the App Store. If you use an app that you really like tell us about in the comments below.