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GREAT HANG UP:The California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS)says studies show brain function decreases by 37 percentwhen talking on the phone while driving --even when using a hands-free device.

The OTS citedstudies describing a condition known as"inattentional blindness"in which the eyes see the road by the brain is unable to process all necessary information due to the person beingoccupied withconversation.

While hands-free talking is legal, theOTS still suggests turning off the phone while driving due to the dangers of inattentional blindness.

April is National Distracted Driver Awareness Month and 200 extra California Highway Patrol officers will be looking for distracted drivers not using hands-free.

But California traffic safety experts urge drivers take safety one step further and hang up entirely.

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