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Gabriella Pappaterra
Academic Writing
Lorraine Sinclaire
July 22, 2015
Is Using the Cellphone While Driving Safe?
Today, people have become so attached to their smartphones that they feel the
urge to use it even when they are driving. People use a phone for everything and are most
of the time in front of it. They are now so used to them that they cant see the dangers of
it. While driving, smartphones can increase the probabilities of provoking an accident.
This is why governments should have more rigid penalties for those who use their
smartphone while driving, because this will decrease the number of accidents.
When using the cellphone, texting is proven to be more distracting than making a
call and could even be more dangerous than driving under the effects of alcohol. Text
messaging has been around for about a dozen years with public surveys showing
overwhelming agreement that it's a dangerous distraction while driving (Halsey). Texting
could distract people because they have to take their eyes off the road and pay attention to
the screen of their phones, even if its just for a second. This is when the great danger
appears, because in just that second, there could happen a situation that requires 100
percent of that persons awareness and wont be able to manage it because of their
distraction.
Governments should make fines and penalties for phone usage graver, because it
will prevent accidents. Current fines go from 50 to 100 dollars, when found with a phone
while driving. If the consequences for people who are found using a phone while driving
were more rigid, people would be more scared to use them; therefore, accidents would

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have a significant decrease. In distracted-driving accidents, an estimated of 450,000
people were killed or injured last year (Halsey). This is a really big number, and just
putting more stiff penalties could reduce it. Distracted-driving-related crashes killed
nearly 5,500 people in 2009 and injured almost half a million more. Lives are at stake,
and all the reputable research we have says that tough laws, good enforcement and
increased public awareness will help put a stop to the deadly epidemic of distracted
driving on our roads (LaHood). These laws will also help people to understand the
severity and the graveness of the consequences they could face if they use a phone while
driving; after all, a persons life is what is being at risk.
Many people wont agree with the idea that laws could reduce the number of
accidents provoked by phone usage. People believe that penalties wont help to this
cause, because laws tend to take years to become effective. Ashley Halsey expressed in
her article Distracted Driving: The institute research found that rather than a decline in
texting-related collisions, there appears to have been a small increase in claims in the
states enacting texting bans which suggests that texting drivers have responded to the law
... by hiding their phones from view. To Halsey, laws are ineffective, because people are
so attached to their phones that they dont stop using them while driving, but start hiding
them from the officers. She believes stiff penalties are not the solution, because all they
are doing is making people hide their phones. However, laws do reduce the accidents
rate, because even if a person is trying to hide his or her phone, the day they get caught,
the next time they want to use their phone while driving, they will think it twice, due to
the very severe penalties. A person who gets a high fine for using a phone while driving,
will not do it again, because he or she will be afraid of getting another fine. Ian Mulgrew

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expressed in his article Cellphones and Driving: I don't think anyone disagrees it's
time for stiff punishments and prison time when texting or utilizing electronic devices is a
factor in a crashespecially when serious injury or death is involved. People should not
be against these laws, because they help reduce accidents, where people might lose their
lives.
Laws might not be the best option to eradicate automobile crashes, but it sure
helps to the cause. People should stop using their phones while driving, because this can
provoke a fatal accident, where more than one person could be killed due to phone usage.
Penalties are a good way to help prevent these accidents. This makes people think
whether they should or should not use their smartphones, and help them understand the
severity and the consequences they could face if they do use it.

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Works Cited

Halsey, Ashley. "Laws Against Texting While Driving Are Ineffective." Distracted
Driving. Ed. Stefan Kiesbye. Detroit: Greenhaven Press, 2012. At Issue. Rpt. from
"Laws Are Not Dissuading Drivers From Texting, Report Finds." Washington
Post29 Sept. 2010. Opposing Viewpoints in Context. Web. 20 July 2014.

Mulgrew, Ian. "Cell Phone Use While Driving Needs Stiff Penalties." Cell Phones and
Driving. Ed. Stefan Kiesbye. Detroit: Greenhaven Press, 2011. At Issue. Rpt. from
"Ticket for Using a Cellphone While Driving Doesn't Go Far Enough." Vancouver
Sun 9 Nov. 2009. Opposing Viewpoints in Context. Web. 20 July 2014.