As far back as 2003, federal agencies and researchers had indications that using hands free devices while driving were as distracting as the conventional way.

Personally, I do not use my phone in any way while in my car these days. It's not because I doubt my driving ability, it is because you cannot successfully drive defensively if you are distracted by a conversation. I also have seen way too many people driving recklessly on Route 17 and I-81 while talking on the phone!

Now, two new research studies show that your attention to driving drops by 37% when using a hands free cell. That is the same amount as hands on use. Not good.

As this information gets out, don't be surprised to see police step up distracted driving citations or even implement bans on all cell phone use in vehicles. I actually did get pulled over a few months ago. The officers thought I had used the phone, when in fact I was holding a pringle! Really. So, you get how vigilant they are.

Do yourself a favor and unplug while in the car. It could save your life, your money (both from the citation and insurance increases) and lower your stress! Is any conversation worth the risk?

Happy non-cell motoring.