Why You Should Never Use Your Phone While Driving
You’re driving down the highway, and your phone buzzes with a notification. You try to resist the urge to check it, but you can’t help yourself. Before you know it, you’re scrolling through Instagram while hurtling down the road at 70 miles per hour.
If this scenario sounds familiar to you, you should know that you’re not alone. Many people (too many, in fact) struggle with the temptation to use their phone while driving.
It seems that no matter how many PSAs, news articles, or studies come out about the dangers of distracted driving, people still can’t seem to put their phones down.
Maybe it’s because we always feel like we need to be connected, or maybe it’s just our addiction to technology. Whatever the reason, we have to do better. Let’s explore why below.
7 reasons why you shouldn’t use your phone while driving
1. It’s dangerous
This one may seem obvious, but it’s worth repeating. When you’re using your phone while driving, your attention is divided between the road and whatever is happening on your screen. This means that you’re not fully focused on driving, increasing the risk of an accident.
In fact, according to a study conducted by the National Safety Council, cell phone use while driving leads to roughly 1.6 million crashes each year!
It’s not just crashing into other cars that’s a concern either. When you’re not paying attention to the road, you could hit pedestrians or cyclists as well.
2. It’s illegal in many places
Many states and countries have laws against using your phone while driving. In the United States, for example, 48 states (plus D.C., Puerto Rico, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands) prohibit texting while driving.
Some areas even ban all handheld device use while behind the wheel. If you get caught breaking these laws, you could face hefty fines and even lose your license.
3. You won’t be able to focus on whatever you’re doing on your phone
Even if you think you’re good at multitasking, using your phone while driving will likely split your focus and make it harder to do either task well.
For example, if you’re trying to send a text message or make a call, you might have trouble finding the right contacts or typing accurately.
4. You could miss important information on the road
When you’re looking down at your phone, you might not notice important traffic signs or signals. You could miss an exit, fail to yield at an intersection, or even run a red light.
In addition, you might not be aware of changing road conditions or hazards like construction zones. This lack of awareness could put yourself and others in danger.
5. You’re setting a bad example
If you’re a parent, teacher, role model of any kind, or just a regular driver going about their day, using your phone while driving sends the wrong message to those around you. It teaches others that it’s okay to be distracted behind the wheel and puts them at risk as well.
6. Whatever it is can wait
I’ll go out on a limb here and say that whatever you’re doing on your phone can probably wait until you’re safely parked. If it’s an emergency, pull over to the side of the road before checking your device. Simple.
No Instagram notification or text message is worth risking your life (or someone else’s). Whoever is trying to reach you probably doesn’t want you to get into an accident either.
7. Your insurance might not cover you
Finally, if you do get into an accident while using your phone behind the wheel, your insurance company might not cover the damages. This could leave you on the hook for thousands of dollars in repairs or medical bills.
In some cases, insurance companies will investigate accidents to determine whether distracted driving was a factor. If they find that it was, they could deny your claim altogether.
Put the phone down. Don’t pick it up. Don’t look at it. Don’t even think about it! It’s time to prioritize safety over convenience. The risks of using your phone while driving are simply too high to justify the few seconds of distraction.
Remember, it’s not just about you. When you’re driving, you have a responsibility to keep yourself and others on the road safe. By using your phone while behind the wheel, you’re shirking that responsibility.