While it is unclear whether a funded study was necessary for this conclusion, a recent Consumer Reports survey has found the following two statements to be true: First, young people (ages 16 to 21) fully understand the increased danger of texting while driving. Second, that same age demographic nevertheless continues to text while driving.
Moreover, <a href="http://www.insurancejournal.com/news/national/2012/05/08/246671.htm">a recent study </a>conducted by the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found that drivers age 18-20 are three times more likely to send or receive texts or emails while driving than drivers older than 25.
<a href="http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/04/27/usa-driving-idUSL2E8FQOK820120427">Studies</a> like these will most likely be cited in the growing movement (among some special interest groups, at least) to ban all cell phone use, even with a hands-free device, while driving.
It is unclear exactly how much steam this movement has gained, but we suspect lobbyists in the employ of companies like Bluetooth would "respectfully disagree" with such a pervasive ban of hands-free devices.
Thanks to Brian Gibbbons for this contribution.