It seems like just about every U.S. driver has a story about seeing an accident (or nearly avoiding getting into one) thanks to the inattentive, erratic driving of some jerk on a cell phone. Talking on the phone while driving is dangerous: It's a no-brainer, right? The brains of science agree.
Thanks to one study, we also know it's worse if you're mired in stop-and-go traffic. Cellphone-equipped drivers react 18 percent slower when there are brake lights up ahead. They're also 17 percent slower to get back up to speed, all of which exacerbates the unbearably tedious cycle of stopping and going [source: Strayer and Drews].
So the brilliant conclusion we've reached here is this: If you're going to strap yourself into a four-wheeled death machine and join a herd of other metal monsters, maybe ordering takeout or gossiping about that guy at tennis practice should wait.