The Times has a recent article about the dangers of cell phone use while driving.  Basically, using a cell phone increases the chance of a crash by a factor of four, and, further, the chance of a

crash is equal to that of someone with a .08 percent blood alcohol level, the point at which drivers are generally considered intoxicated

One big reason why state legislators do not at least ban hand-held cell phones (a good first step, but not the solution), is that they are zipping all around their states using cell phones. If these legislators knew how simple and convenient hands-free car devices can be, they would I think take the jump. The best devices have a dashboard cradle, a microphone near the driver’s head, and use the car’s stereo speakers for sound. So, one solution is to educate these people, show them some youtube videos just for them, and take them for a spin in a properly equipped car.

The real solution, of course, is for insurance companies to change their policies so that their clients’ insurance will not apply if it can be shown that they were talking, texting, twittering, diddling, or otherwise using their cell phones when, or even close to when, an accident occurred. It’s easy to get cellphone records, so this clause will be easy to implement. And give a discount to people who swear (and maybe prove later) that they will not have their cell phones even turned on while driving. That should do it.

Otherwise, it will just take some landmark court cases to fix the problem. It’s only a matter of time.