Is using an iPad while driving really a good idea?

In February we discussed Illinois’ recent ban of texting while driving, and concluded with this advice: “Operating a motor vehicle while using a mobile device is a dangerous proposition…so take heed when you hit the road–protect yourself and those around you–and leave your smart phone where it belongs: in your pocket.”

The Illinois ban simply makes sense. While driving, your attention should be focused on the road, not on distracting electronic gadgets. It’s difficult to make a rational argument arguing otherwise, which is why the recent trend to install computers in cars is so perplexing.

For instance, as we learn in this blog post from earth2tech, students at the University of Michigan recently completed a project wherein computers were installed in automobiles to facilitate various types of social networking. The screens were readily accessible by the driver and allowed for access to the Internet and interaction with other drivers on the road in order to plan road trips, track fuel usage and report traffic backups.

Similarly, as reported in this post at the Raw Feed, an iPad accessory was recently released that allows the iPad to be mounted to the steering wheel so that the driver can read the newspaper while operating the car. Believe it or not, in this this video demonstrating the device, the laughable suggestion is made that the product actually enhances safety:

Hopefully, laws will be passed–and soon–forbidding the use of computers and similar devices by drivers of vehicles. Technology is changing at a rapid pace and lawmakers need to act quickly to nip this problem in the bud. We need to forbid this dangerous practice now before it becomes commonly accepted. Our safety depends on it.

Howard Ankin of Ankin Law ( handles workers’ compensation and personal injury cases. Mr. Ankin can be reached at (312) 346-8780 and