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7/15/2013 - When ringing cellphones are best left unanswered

Drivers may want to show courtesy to other motorists by not talking on the phone behind the wheel.

Given the ubiquity of cellphones, virtually everyone has seen or heard someone talk to a friend of theirs in a place or at a time that's not exactly appropriate. With this in mind, July is National Cellphone Courtesy Month, which telecommunication companies and manners experts say is sorely needed.

According to recent polling data, some of the most common peccadillos consumers perform with their handheld devices are behind the wheel, as auto insurance data has shown that crash likelihood increases significantly when motorists operate their phones while driving. Individuals are also often frustrated when someone is talking on their phone in a restaurant or in a manner that's so loud that they can hear it across the room.

Jacqueline Whitmore, an etiquette expert, notes that phone conversations in restaurants are a major no-no, as it's not only rude to fellow patrons but also to the person that's sitting at the table.

Other cellphone use protocols that wireless providers recommend is not taking or making a call in a place where common sense suggests it shouldn't be. These include inside the classroom, during religious services, at movie theaters or on dates. But if a call has to be made, it's best to kindly remove oneself from the situation and find a place that's private.

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