Mobile Devices Should Not Be Banned for Drivers
Zach • QUARRYVILLE, PA
Solanco High School
I do not think that handheld devices should be indefinitely banned for drivers. There are many instances where a driver may need his or her handheld device. There are also plenty of instances where the handheld device does not pose any sort of threat to the driver or other drivers on the road.
Let me begin by saying that I do believe that texting while driving can be extremely dangerous. Speaking on the phone while driving can be dangerous as well, but to a lesser extent. Texting redirects the driver's attention, vision, and at least one hand to his or her phone, and can thus be very dangerous. Now, one may argue that it is only as distracting as changing the radio station or turning on a car's air conditioning, but those things usually take much less time than sending a text message. Speaking on the phone, on the other hand, only distracts the driver's attention and one hand (if the vehicle does not have hands-free calling system), but allows the driver to keep his or her eyes on the road. Some may say that this is only as distracting as taking a bite from that chicken wrap they grabbed from that drive-thru a few miles back, but again, speaking on the phone generally takes much more time. It can be dangerous, but not nearly as much as texting while driving.
As I said, there are situations where a driver may need his or her phone, in case of an emergency. For example, they may receive a phone call from a friend about how a loved one has been in a vehicular accident and needs them to come to the emergency room. There are also situations where a handheld device poses no threat, like if it is being used as a music source for the car's stereo, and the driver can use buttons on the steering wheel for track and volume control. A driver might also use his or her mobile device as a GPS. Very little danger is introduced in situations like these.
If anything, I might say that texting while driving should be banned in all situations, because of the incredibly distracting nature of it. I do not, however, believe that all handheld devices should be completely banned while driving, because of how useful they can be for drivers, and because there are many situations where they are not dangerous.