Louisiana drivers may not realize that their cellphone is one of the main distractions they will encounter on the road. While some people may think that a cellphone is a distraction only if they are using it, this may not be the case.

Although drivers know it is important to focus on the road, they may sometimes be tempted to use their cellphone while driving. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, about 481,000 people handle their cellphones when they are driving during the day. While any cellphone use can be distracting, sending a text message can keep a driver’s eyes off the road for a long time. People can easily drive the length of a football field when they look down at their phone to send a text message.

Some people may think that their phone is not a distraction if it is not in their hand. Journalist’s Resource says that cellphones can be distracting even if they are sitting in the passenger seat. One 2017 study tested students to find out how they performed on cognitive tests when their phone was next to them, in another room and sitting nearby. The results of the study may surprise some drivers. Students who were dependent on their cellphones during the day usually did not do well on cognitive tests. Additionally, people who had their cellphones in another room typically did better on the same tests.

Some drivers may think that the location of their cellphone does not matter. However, the results of the study suggest that drivers may be less distracted if their cellphones are not near them when they drive. Additionally, it seems that a cellphone has the ability to distract drivers even if it is placed facedown.