Driving while dialing

The New York Times is reporting on an Australian-based study examining the link between cell phone usage and traffic accidents. It suggests that using a “hands free” phone does not aid in traffic safety, calling into question laws allowing the use of hands free devices in cars while driving.

“There just doesn’t seem to be any safety benefit by restricting drivers to hands-free phones,” said Rae Tyson, a spokesman for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. “It’s the cognitive overload that sometimes occurs when you’re engaging in a conversation that is the source of the distraction more so than the manipulation of the device.”

The actual study appears in the British Medical Journal – should be an interesting read.