Researchers at the University of Illinois did. They put several dozen people in a driving simulator -- asking them to either drive or just sit there -- and then had them chat with a conversation partner. Those partners were either in the simulator or calling via cellphone. Hands-free, of course.
Turns out, dealing with traffic does a number on the ability to recall information, even to produce speech. Intersections proved particularly problematic.
The researchers wrote: "Measures of driving performance suggested that the drivers gave priority to the driving task when they were conversing. As a result, their linguistic performance suffered."
Obviously they should have been texting instead.
-- Tami Dennis
Photo: Don't expect any of these drivers to remember much of what you tell them, whether you're conversing via phone or in the car.
Photo credit: Associated Press