Distracted Driving: Should Talking, Texting Be Banned?

Texting is dangerous. Dialing is too. But is hands-free technology that much safer?

Sunny S. Unal / Corbis

Most of us are neither pilots nor astronauts. We are not trained to steer large, hurtling hulks of steel and gasoline while manipulating small computers. So there's something blindingly obvious about the risks of texting while driving. Yet research is beginning to show that driving while simply talking on a cell phone — including using hands-free technology — can prove dangerous, even deadly.

In late July, the Center for Auto Safety (CAS) released hundreds of pages of a previously buried 2003 National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) study that identified the cell phone as a serious safety hazard when used on...

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