Study Shows Cell Phones Cause Driving Hazard

July 12, 2005--Posted at 6:00 p.m. CDT
JONESBORO-- Cell phones are everywhere, but a new study suggests where they shouldn't be ... your car.
Drivers often catch up on conversation while on the road or keep their cell phones close by.
Four out of ten Americans that admit they talk on cell phones while driving can relate.
This part of a new study that concerns you are four times likely to be involved in a serious crash if you use a cell phone while you drive.
A problem that local insurance agents don't have is evidence of aside from this study ...
State Farm Insurance Agent Catherine Dillon says, "Here in Jonesboro, in the local area, not necessarily but it happens. I'm sure there are accidents when no one has really said it was caused by a cell phone."
However, they have received information about the study saying it doesn't matter how you use your phone, it can be dangerous.
Some experts recommend hands free devices, but even they can't prevent you from having an accident. The conversation alone can cause distraction.
"Anything could really cause driving hazards like eating, or arguing or talking next to someone next to you. Cell phones are just a distraction and you don't want to be distracted when driving," Dillon says.
The study suggests the conversation over your phone is more distracting than how you hold or dial it.
"You have to have your mind on what you are doing especially driving a car, because you're moving and there are so many things you have to pay attention to," Dillon says.
The study says the best thing to do is hang it up.
Some states have laws that make it illegal to hold a cell phone to your ear as you drive. You have the use a hands free device. Other states are considering similar laws.