Cell phoning while driving even more dangerous than thought

An article in today's St Louis Post-Dispatch outlines recent research showing driving while talking on a cell phone is even more dangerous than thought--and using hands-free cell phone equipment doesn't help:

"Multitasking is a myth," the Safety Council concluded in its white paper titled Understanding the Distracted Brain. "Human brains do not perform two tasks at the same time. Instead, the brain handles tasks sequentially.

Phones cause cognitive distraction, taking your mind off the road.

Many states have addressed the growing danger surrounding the use of hand-held cell phones and texting while driving by requiring hands-free devices. Still, those don't eliminate the cognitive distraction, the council said. In fact, a review of more than 30 research studies found that hands-free phones fail to provide any added safety benefit.

More info and research summaries from the National Safety Council here.

April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month and the National Safety Council has a whole page of information and resources about the issue.