Many states (including California, New York, Washington, the District of Columbia, and Connecticut) have imposed laws requiring drivers to use hands-free devices to make phone calls. New Jersey even made violation of its law a first offense. But several studies over the years have found that <A HREF="http://tech.yahoo.com/blogs/hughes/24247">talking on a hands-free device is not much safer</A> than talking on a hand-held device.
A study by the American Psychological Association of over 500 drivers found that talking on a cell phone cut activity in areas of the brain used for driving by half. Drivers focusing on a phone conversation had slower reaction times, were less likely to recall objects on the road, and had a hard time noticing traffic around them. Researchers also noted that hands-free devices in the car posed the same hazards as hand-held devices.