Here is a great article on the dangers of this. Imagine running a red light because you didn't even see the light because you were focused on a conversation.
Sometimes when I have Zach in the car and he asks me one of his complex questions, I tell him I have to wait until the driving is less distracting to answer it, and that is with both hands on the wheel. I am aware of paying attention, of focusing on what I'm doing. I am not a multi-tasker, so that is part of it, I suppose, but I am baffled that driving is not better honored as a skill and art in this country. I think the complexity and responsibility of driving a huge vehicle is under-estimated in this country and it costs us vast amounts of money in car repairs, injuries, and deaths. We have learned to use seat belts, something not required when I was growing up and now we can learn that there is something involved in maneuvering around in a huge vehicle. We all make enough mistakes when driving when we are paying attention. That people now see it as something to do along with doing other things boggles my mind.
I don't see a long commute as an excuse. Perhaps better legislation around driving a car would lead to more support of public transportation. Then it's okay to ride, text, and comb your hair.