Listen to email handsfree - US state laws on mobile phones and driving
Mobile phone driving laws vary by state, and a good summary map is available here.
You must only use your phone handsfree if you live in California, Connecticut, Delaware, Washington DC, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Vermont, Washington, or West Virginia. That means you can use Speaking Email to read your inbox out to you but not archive, star or reply. You can listen to your emails, which will be read out in order of your inbox with unread first, but not swipe or tap the screen.
There are a couple of settings and preferences you may like to switch on if for best handsfree usage.
- Preference - Read next email automatically (already on by default)
- Preference - Finish when reply detected (this skips to the next email when the end of the email is reached, including the start of a reply or forward thread or an email signature)
- Account Setting - Play unplayed emails first (this means it will not read out the same email again ever - it will read out new emails or any emails you have not previously listened to)
- Account Setting - Mark as Read when speaking (you may wish to turn this on to mark any emails you've listened to as "read" on your mail server - many people like to have them still unread when they get to their desk but its up to you)
Less restrictive states
You can use all features of Speaking Email in most other states. The following states do not require hands-free mobile phone usage:
Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming
We believe it will be OK to use all features of Speaking Email in these states, provided it is not causing a distraction. Speaking Email does not allow you to type or require any complex interactions - its nothing like texting and driving, which is banned in many states.
(Compiled from IIHS, current as at September 2015)