You've seen the horror stories about distracted driving.
But, U of I researchers found banning cell phones isn't making roads safer in rural areas.
That's what numbers from New York State's cell phone ban show.
WCIA 3's Cynthia Schweigert talked with people who keep the roads safe in central Illinois, to put these findings In Perspective.
"We don't see an association of a decrease in traffic accidents due to that ban in counties of lower driver density," says Douglas King, one of the people who worked on that study.
It may not be what you expect to hear about how banning cell phones while driving is making an impact.
But U of I researchers found in rural counties, the accident rate actually went up after the ban.
"What we wanted to do was look at not just a snapshot of accident rates related to a cell phone ban, but how accident rates evolve over time," King says.
So they studied seven years worth of data from New York's cell phone ban.
King says the accident rate in urban counties went down, but went up in rural counties.
So we asked Champaign County Sheriff Deputy James Golaszewski what he thinks about this.
He's been with the sheriff's department more than 30 years and says he's not surprised.
"What I noticed even prior to the ban was that out in the country areas, when people could look down the road for a mile and think, 'Ok, there are no other cars, it's safe for me to try and send a text message' or something," Golaszewski says.
But roadside memorials are a sobering reminder that things can change in an instant.
"Even though, they may think there are no hazards on the road or nothing unexpected is going to happen, they could very easily be wrong. When they are, that's when we have a crash, or some sort of dramatic event where they go off the road, spin out and end up in a field somewhere," Golaszewski says.
Deputy Golaszewski also says people don't think they'll get caught breaking the law in rural counties.
He also says the accident rates everywhere following the ban will decrease as awareness increases.
In Champaign County, there were nine-distracted driving accidents in 2011.
We're almost to the end of 2012 and there've been 26 this year.
It means distracted driving accidents have nearly tripled.
Deputy Golaszewski says it could be that officers are better at asking the right questions about distracted driving and finding out that's why the accident happened.