As many states look to hands-free laws to solve distracted driving, most drivers are still answering their phones. While texting and driving is prohibited, calling someone is not. Many drivers, even if they are using a hands-free device, are distracted by their phones still. How is this possible?

It’s typical for people to catch up with their loved ones while they drive, but reconnecting can cause severe accidents. By talking on the phone, you can become extremely distracted even if you’re following the hands-free law.

The study

A driving test was conducted by the University of Illinois and the Beckman Institute. They evaluated how drivers reacted to different driving situations to prove how dangerous talking on the phone while driving can be.

The first situation was no distractions at all. The second was having a passenger in the car with the driver. This distracted the driver a little, but the passenger acted as a second set of eyes that could warn the driver of oncoming obstacles on the road. The third situation was the driver on the phone. This tripled the driver’s likelihood of getting in an accident.

The results

With this test, it’s proven that talking on the phone while driving is extremely distracting. Your brain is so focused on what the other person is saying to you that your reaction time slows by nine percent. If the conversation leads to a more heated or emotional tone, the risks could further increase.

While driving, it’s best to not add any distractions. Although you may be following the hands-free law, the distraction that phones bring while driving is too much of a risk. The best way to avoid this distraction is to have your phone out of sight and out of mind.