Talking on the phone is the problem, not holding the phone. Drivers don't use two hands anyway, and that does not cause all that many collisions, does it? Talking on the phone is engaging in a discussion where your partner cannot assert your condition while talking, not to mention the situation on the road.
It also triggers your imagination to complete the missing details (face of the person you are conversing with, subject of the discussion, etc...) which puts you into a daydreaming mode and cuts your brain off from the road. The effect remains even for a few minutes after you finished talking on the phone!
The leads to a very distracting task, which should be avoided, or at least seperated from driving by pulling into a safe place and having the discussion there.
If you must talk while driving, follow these rules:
1. Light up an imaginary "red alert" to maintain your sense of danger and your focus on the task of driving, rather than the phone.
2. Say to your parter on the phone that you are driving.
3. Slow down by 20% and/or add one second to your gap from the car ahead
4. Check your mirrors and following distance every few seconds to stay focus on driving.
5. In any particularly demanding spot while driving, either pause the discussion ("Just a sec.") or acknowledge your partner.
I am so glad you emphasized that it's the talking part that is the real risk here and not just holding the phone.
I see so many people talking using hands free sets and driving at the same time....and half the time they seem so lost in conversation that either they miss the changing signals or are much slower to react to the moving traffic.
Unless, it's an emergency or a call you must take, my advice is to avoid talking on the phone altogether. Or try to make the call as short and to the point as possible.
Though of course, there are people who need to commute long distances and yet need to start working too (provided their work necessitates the use of phone), in which case, the above tips (by Astraist) should greatly help.
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