Question: When you are driving down the road using a cell phone, is using a hands-free devise safer than holding the phone up to your ear?

A new study in the National Safety Council’s Journal of Safety Research concludes there is little difference between the driving safety risk of using hands-free cell phones and using hand held phones. The study confirms that any form of cell phone use is a distraction that detracts from the brain’s ability to focus on safe driving.

Researchers found hands-free and handheld phones are equally dangerous for drivers.

Both types of phones:

  • Cause more accidents and driving errors
  • Impair reaction times
  • Slow down overall vehicle speed

“It’s just not possible for our brains to focus on the road and the call or text,” said David Teater, NSC senior director of transportation strategic initiatives.

In January, NSC became the first national organization to call for a total ban on cell phone use while driving.

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