I was going to hold my peace about the talking while driving thing, even though I don't agree with it. Until this morning, when I almost got creamed by some jackass who was talking on his cell and not paying attention to the fact that he did NOT have the light yet.
We were opposing traffic, northbound (me) had an advance left turn signal, and this character coming southbound was just coming through, despite the fact that the light was not his yet. He did stop in time, but it was closer than I'd like to repeat.
The point of this description is that his hands had nothing to do with the problem. He had quite enough hands for the driving he was engaged in. It was his brain that was elsewhere, and not paying attention. Hands-free won't fix that.
If they pass hands-free only, they'll have to outlaw smoking while driving, sipping your coffee while driving, munching your donut while driving, etc. Your hands are just as involved in those activities as they are with the phone.
But it won't fix the problem, because the problem is attention.
It's not the same as a conversation with someone in the car. That person can see the same things the driver sees, and instinctively put the conversation on hold if circumstances require fuller concentration from the driver. The person on the other end of the phone can't see that, and can inadvertently demand more of the driver's attention than he can realistically give. Unfortunately, it's all too likely that the conversation will get the attention and the driving won't.
Fortunately, anyone likely to call me knows my views, and is not surprised when my phone rings twice, goes live, and they get a hollered "just a sec!", while I find a place to pull over.
OK. I'll get off my soap box now.