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You've seen them, haven't you? Folks driving down one of the city's main streets, or along the highway, one hand on the wheel, another hand cradling a car phone, and their mind who knows where, but not thinking about the road ahead or the traffic around them.

And you have said to yourself that they can't be concentrating on their driving. Surely, you are convinced, they run a greater risk of an accident.You were right. Researchers have found that talking on the car phone can be detrimental to your health. Folks with a cellular phone in the car are 34 percent more likely to have an accident, according to data published in Accident Analysis and Prevention, a British journal.

Drivers run an even greater risk if they use their car telephones a lot or do so while also drinking coffee or lighting a cigarette. People talking on car phones sometimes forget about red lights and stop signs. They tend to concentrate on conversation, not driving.

Think about it. Whether you are on the phone at home or in the office, you are listening to the person on the other end of the line, thinking about what they are saying, maybe pondering a problem you both are discussing. All this and you want to be driving a deadly weapon down the street, too?

Let's face it. Conversations on car phones often are more often than not about business. And that means either the driver is concentrating on the call - which is detrimental to driving - or concentrating on driving, which is detrimental to the call.

There ought to be a law that forbids driving while using a hand-held cellular telephone. At least with the sort of car phone that has a remote microphone the driver can keep both hands on the wheel.

That's not to say folks shouldn't keep cellular telephones in their cars. Or faxes, or personal computers, or any other feature of the portable office. Just don't use them while driving.