These days, our cellphones go pretty much where ever we do. In fact, sometimes they even help us get to our destination. But since these devices were designed to be handheld, they can be dangerous to hold while also trying to steer.

To help drivers use their cellphone’s navigation applications without compromising control of their vehicle or attention to the road, developers have introduced cellphone holding devices that can be mounted in the car.

Drawbacks

The phone mounts have caused some controversy because many states had already established laws that prevent drivers from placing any object in front of the windshield that could block their view ahead. Originally, this applied to photographs, review mirror ornaments and ceramic hula dancers.

However, the intention behind these laws still applies to the phone mounts because the device can limit the driver’s view of the road. Further, glancing over at a navigation device still take the driver’s attention off of the road. This could be enough to cause an accident — especially in cases where drivers are confused by their directions.

Benefits

But, many would argue that the benefits outweigh the drawbacks in the cellphone mount debate. For one, basing directions off of memory or attempting to use a physical map can be challenging and confusing. If drivers miss a turn, they may not realize it or could pull a risky maneuver to correct the mistake if there’s no backup plan.

Having a navigation system to guide drivers is a much safer way to travel to new destinations.

However, holding a navigation device means that a driver needs to look down from the road, rather than glancing over at it on the windshield. It could also be easy to drop the device, tempting drivers to search around for it while in motion. Further, holding a navigation device limits a driver’s ability to control the steering wheel if there is an unexpected hazard.

Cellphone mounts also have the added bonus of decreasing the chances that the driver will use the device to text, go on social media or make a call. Some experts have even suggested that many drivers might not be able to stop themselves from using their cellphone while driving if it’s within reach.

New York law

In New York, it’s actually illegal for drivers to use a cellphone in the car. Offenders can face a fine up to $150 among other penalties. Motor vehicle accidents that result from texting while driving can also make the responsible party liable for any injuries expenses the incident caused.