There's a famous radio clip where some politician is being interviewed on a radio talk show while driving, and suddenly there's a crash and he says in a stunned voice, "I just got in an accident." I'm sure that could be found online, if it would be useful to you...
And there was an experiment done by one of the network TV newsmagazines that I'm sure you could also track down. They demonstrated that when you're talking on the cell while driving, your field of vision gets smaller, for some reason. You don't see as much off to the sides as you do when you aren't distracted that way. I think this was only about hand-held phones... not sure, though.
And even hands-free cellphones do distract you in the car, as most of us know -- because it's a little more difficult to carry on a conversation with someone over the phone as opposed to in person, so it's not as easy as talking to a passenger in your car.
As for personal opinions...
There's a restaurant I like that has on its menu, "No cellphones in the dining room, please," and I understand why -- a lot of people do tend to talk louder on the phone, and of course the ringtones are annoying. But I absolutely will not
turn my phone off!
I'll set it on vibrate, and I'll answer quietly
, and I'll step outside if I have to talk at any length... but I won't put myself completely out of touch. Same at the movies!
I've heard people say that it's rude to talk on the cell in a store, too, but I don't have a problem with that as long as you keep the volume down to normal conversational tone, as if you were talking to someone there with you. Part of the usefulness
of cellphones is that you can ask whether someone wants smooth or chunky peanut butter, y'know?
But at the doctor's office, for example... that's not the place for a cellphone conversation. But because my parents are elderly, I'm afraid to just not answer if it's them calling -- so what I do is let them know that I'm going to be in the doctor's office for the next hour, so please don't call unless it's an emergency. That way, I have to look
at the phone to see who's calling, but unless it's the folks, I don't have to answer.
Good luck with your speech!