2007_11_driverphone.jpgIt's no shock that many drivers aren't totally on the ball when driving, but it turns out that one in three New York drivers multi-task in their cars. According to a Hunter College study (PDF) conducted at 50 intersections in the Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan and Queens, of the over 3,000 drivers observed, 23% were talking on a cellphone, 5.7% were smoking, 4.5% were drinking, 3.1% were drinking, and 1.7% were grooming. Time to quote Rihanna: "Shut up and drive!"

Half the cellphone drivers used hands-free devices, which makes driving and chatting on a phone legal, but sociology professor Peter Tuckel told CityRoom, “The most intriguing finding is that individuals who talk on a wireless device are the most likely to engage in grooming, eating, drinking and smoking. They think they’re being safety-conscious, but in fact, individuals driving with a hands-free device are compounding the risk of driving with a cellphone.”

Since Staten Island wasn't included in the study for some reason, the Advance did an informal study that found 34 drivers on a cellphone during a 25-minute period at Hylan Boulevard and New Dorp Lane; only four were using hands free devices.