As a new driver with little experience behind the wheel, having to swerve into another lane to avoid a reckless driver talking on a cell phone is not something that I am prepared for. According to the New England Journal of Medicine, an accident is four times more likely while talking on the phone. Therefore, using a cell phone while driving should be outlawed.
Cars are two-ton weapons and should be treated as such. When drivers put a key in the ignition, they are taking on the responsibility of being a driver. Answering the phone while driving is like taking the safety off a gun - at any moment something could go wrong and change a life forever.
A few countries, including Australia, Great Britain, Spain and Israel, have recognized the damage that cell phone use can cause. According to Tom Alex of The Des Moines Register, people who talk on cell phones while driving are just as dangerous as drunk drivers. One small distraction could trigger a deadly mistake, causing them to hurt themselves or someone else.
Some may argue that cell phones are helpful when you need directions or are in an emergency situation. Although I agree, I believe the safest way to use your phone is to pull over to the side of the road first. Some may argue that hands-free phones are less of a distraction, but studies have shown that the risk of having an accident remains the same even with these.
Using a cell phone while driving should be outlawed. One small mistake could change your whole life. Please don‘t let that happen - stay off your cell phone while driving.
This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.