Many studies show that talking on a cell phone while driving is as dangerous as driving drunk…even if the phone is a hands-free model. A study from researchers at the University of Utah, published in the summer 2006 issue of Human Factors, reached that same conclusion. An earlier study at that University found that motorists who talked on hands-free cell phones were 18% slower in braking and took 17% longer to regain the speed they lost when they braked. These are scary figures that could make the difference between life and death.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in 2004 found that drivers using hand-free cell phones had to redial calls 40% of the time, compared with 18% for drivers using hand-held sets. The researchers suggested that hands-free sets may therefore provide drivers with a false sense of ease.
Another study conducted by the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found that almost 80% of accidents involved some form of driver inattention within three seconds of the crash.
If this isn’t enough to make you think twice about talking on a cell phone and driving, I don’t know what will.