Every state legislature has considered regulations that would prohibit the use of cell phones while driving. Several have enacted laws that prohibit drivers from using hand-held cell phones but allow drivers to use hands-free devices. Will these laws make the roads any safer?
When people learn that talking on a cell phone (either a hand held unit or a hands-free device) increases the crash risk by a factor of 4 (identical to the crash risk with driving with a blood alcohol level of .08), I am often asked, "What about passenger conversations -- aren't they just as risky?"
This past week saw the launch of what we think will be a major, new non-profit distracted driving organization, Focus Driven Advocates for Cell-Free Driving.