The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's Highway Loss Data Institute (try saying that
five times fast) seems like it'd be the first organization in the world to vehemently support bans on the use of handheld phones while driving, but interestingly, it's come out with some data recently to suggest they're not doing much good. A study of insurance claims in four regions where laws have been passed -- New York, Washington, DC, Connecticut, and California -- both before and after the bans went into effect, compared to adjacent regions where use was allowed, apparently shows no demonstrable drop in accidents. Now, the IIHS claims that "we know that such laws have reduced hand-held phone use" -- but from our personal experience in areas where laws have been passed, we can definitely confirm that there are still plenty of folks ignoring the bans, so there are at least a couple factors at play here. Does this mean yapping is a good idea while you're behind the wheel? No, but it might confirm the obvious: you're still distracted even if you're on a handsfree.