Although chatting on a cell phone while driving ups the risk of an accident, new research suggests that cell phone speakers mounted in front of drivers may help them stay better focused.

That’s because it’s easier for people to look and listen at the same time when all the information is coming from the same direction, UK researchers say.

Recent concerns about the safety of driving while dialing and talking into hand-held cell phones have led some U.S. states to ban their use in moving vehicles. In response, millions of cellular users have made the switch to hands-free devices.

But studies also suggest that such hands-free technology may not reduce the risk of car accidents among chatty drivers — suggesting that a driver’s attention, rather than problems with physically handling a cell phone, is the more important factor in safe driving.
More here.