Keep the NEAR EAR Open

What does "Keep the NEAR EAR open" mean? It's a simple technique for talking on your cell phone that makes it a safer experience for you and those around you.

More people everyday are using their cell phones to carry on conversations while they are walking on the street from one place to another. This often involves dealing with crowds and crossing intersections with heavy traffic. Some people get so involved in their cell phone conversation, they forget they are walking in crowds and traffic, and this is simply UNSAFE. You can see a great example of this in the NEAR EAR VIDEO

July is NATIONAL CELL PHONE COURTESY MONTH and a great time to make people aware that they should be courteous to others when using their cell phones. In addition to being COURTEOUS, it is equally important to be SAFE in using cell phones, especially in crowds and traffic. Many lawmakers are now trying to pass regulations that would limit or even prohibit using cell phones in crowds and/or traffic, but starting immediately, everyone can be safer by using the Near Ear.


The NEAR EAR is your ear that faces oncoming traffic when you cross an intersection. This is the ear you should keep open and the cell phone should go on your other ear which is not facing traffic. (see ABOVE) Not only does this allow you to HEAR the traffic more effectively, but it also allows you to SEE the oncoming traffic since your hand is not holding the cell phone over that ear and thereby blocking your vison of the traffic. This is especially true when you turn your head toward the oncoming traffic (see BELOW)

The NEAR EAR Factor is emphasized in this frame-by-frame turn sequence. (ABOVE) When the Near Ear remains open and facing traffic, both hearing and vision remain unobstructed for the duration of the turn. This is particularly crucial if the subject is absorbed in conversation and not paying attention to traffic. The first indication of danger would most likely be a sound, such as a car horn or a skid. The subject's reaction would then be to turn toward the sound and visually verify if there was danger.


In the frame-by-frame sequence ABOVE, the Near Ear is being used for the cell phone and held in place by the subject's hand. The chances of hearing any warning sounds such as a horn or skid diminishes. Even if the sound is heard and the subject does turn towards it for visual confirmation, the hand and cell phone create a sizeable visual block.


It's a simple little thing, but NEAR EAR can make a world of difference as far as your safety. Many people already use the Near Ear automatically, but many others do not. A Public Awareness Campaign and hopefully some regulations could help to remind them. Keep the Near Ear open to prevent injury and save lives.

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(EXCEPT National Cell Phone Courtesy Month 2007 The Protocol School of Palm Beach, Inc. All rights reserved.)