Carrie Widenmier said making phone calls while driving is a pain.
"It gets a little frustrating sometimes. Changing lanes or whatnot, you have something in your hand trying do it safely can be hard," Widenmier said.
Widenmier, who works at TV5, just bought a new car. But she hasn't had the chance to take advantage of the wireless Bluetooth technology that comes with the vehicle.
Widenmier isn't alone. Despite all the high-tech advances in cars including hands-free calling features TV5 cameras caught driver after driver doing things the low-tech way, holding cell phones to their ears.
There is no law in Michigan that prohibits the use of a cell phone while driving. However, motorists can be charged with careless driving if they cause an accident while on the phone.
TV5 wondered why some people don't take advantage of the technology at their fingertips. Larry White with Patsy Lou Chevrolet has a theory.
"I definitely think there's a disconnect on our customers being able to use all the great applications that our cars offer today," White said.
White is executive vice president and co-owner of Patsy Lou Chevrolet. He said the high-tech features on newer cars tend to overwhelm a lot of people.
"In our cars today there's over 10,000 lines of code. A fighter jet has 7,000," White said.
White's dealership created a connection center designed to assist those who need a little help understanding modern-day technology.
"It's like the 'ah ha.' And then all of a sudden they fall in love with their vehicle a little bit more," White said.
TV5 went to Draper Chevrolet in Saginaw Township. That's where salesman Bob Wainwright showed how to pair a smartphone to the wireless Bluetooth technology in a car.
People have to go to the settings feature on their smartphone. Then they select Bluetooth. They take the same steps with their car by hitting the "pair with device" button. After following the directions their car and phone will be paired.
Wainwright said once his customers discover hands-free they're hooked.
"People get excited, they go show their friends and they're like, 'hey, look at this,' and they get pretty excited about it. Great technology," Wainwright said.
That's not all, Wainwright said the sound quality of their phone conversation is outstanding.
"It sounds like you're literally talking to someone sitting in the car next to you. No static. It's amazing," Wainwright said.
Not every car on the road today has the Bluetooth hands free feature. Most vehicles 2009 and newer have it.
"There are after-market devices that you could purchase maybe from Radioshack or Best Buy. It doesn't use the car; it just pairs your cell phone with this after-market device but the ease of use is the same," Keyser Chevrolet employee Sally Loomas said.
Loomas said a lot of the gadgets can be clipped on to the visor in vehicles. Most sell for about $100 or less. She said it's a small investment for safety.
"If you have the benefit please use it because it's so much safer," Loomas said.
TV5 was able to show Widenmier how to pair her cell phone with her Dodge Durango. She said she's glad to have it and won't go back to holding a phone in her hand again.
"It would be stepping back in time. Why would you step back in time when you have something better out there to use," Widenmier said.
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