Phones? While Driving? It's More Common Than You Think!
Allison • Mascoutah, IL
Southern Illinois University Edwardsville
We hear many stories about people (typically teenagers) texting or talking on the phone while driving. A good majority of those stories involve some sort of accident, whether it's a harmless fender-bender or a fatal accident. However, is it really necessary to completely ban using a cellphone while behind the wheel?
Recently, in the state of Illinois, it was made law that you must be using a hands-free device while driving. For those who have newer cars, they can simply hook up their phone to their car via bluetooth, and you can receive and make calls without distracting yourself with fiddling with your phone. However, not everyone is fortunate enough to have that new 2014 car. This leaves you with two options: use speaker phone, or use a bluetooth headset. Once again, not everyone is fortunate enough to have a nice smartphone, either.
To counteract the temptation of texting or talking while driving, these rules Illinois have enacted are fantastic. However, I believe that cell phone usage behind the wheel should be limited to emergencies. If you have to make that text, pull over onto the shoulder! If you know that you're going to need to take that call, have your voicemail leave a message for the caller. If that call or text is really that important, the other party will either call back or wait paitently. Also, no one should be texting or talking behind the wheel while children are present! In my own subdivision, the children are none too careful when they play in the road. Children can be unpredictable! Imagine if a child rode his bike out into the middle of the road, and someone who was texting and not paying attention to that child caused an accident. The results could be catastrophic!
In the end, cell phone usage behind the wheel should be limited to emergencies only. Proper equipment, such as bluetooth, should be used, whether it's connecting your phone to the car or using a headset. No one should have to suffer from negligence because of a text or phone call.