Driven to Distraction

For good or ill, the market for hands-free cell-phone technology in cars is largely untapped. In a Harris Poll fielded last month, 72 percent of respondents who drive and own a cell phone said they talk on their phone while at the wheel, including 10 percent who do this “all the time.” Among the survey’s chattering drivers, 66 percent usually use a handheld rather than a hands-free phone. As if this were not alarming enough, 27 percent said they send and/or receive text messages on their cell phone while driving. It’s not that people are oblivious to the dangers of using a cell phone while at the wheel. Eighty-eight percent agreed that it’s dangerous, including 42 percent terming it “very dangerous.”