Really? Nope. The push to get people off of handheld cell phones hasn't done much to reduce crash rates, according to an article in the Wall Street Journal (FREE ACCESS TODAY). According to some experts, the problem isn't that your hand is holding a cell phone (although that's often a problem, especially when you're trying to parallel-park), it's that your brain struggles to drive and run your mouth. Distraction overall is the problem. Here's an excerpt from Joseph B. White's article:
So the distraction problem may get worse before it gets better. And at least for teenagers, just having extra bodies in the car increases the accident risk, according to KeeptheDrive.com, which quotes a study that found that the risk of a crash is quintupled when teens drive with two or more passengers.*
Safety regulators are also keeping a close eye on the proliferation of in-vehicle communications and entertainment technology—three-dimensional video screens, voice-command systems for using cellphones and text messages and mobile Internet systems. There is growing concern that interacting with a barrage of voices and music and images undermines safety whether the driver handles the gadgets or uses them hands-free.
*Doherty, et al., The Situational Risks of Young Drivers: The Influence of Passengers, Time of Day, and Day of Week on Accident Rates.” Accident Analysis and Prevention 30:45-52.