Most companies allow and encourage carrying on business conversations through hands-free devices such as headsets and visor-mounted microphones.

Here's how several companies deal with it, according to a recent report in the Cincinnati Enquirer:

  • General Motors recommends that employees use hands-free devices or the OnStar system. In rigorous driving conditions, GM suggests staying off the phone entirely.

  • Procter & Gamble also recommends that cell calls in the car take place over hands-free devices.

    Corporations generally advise employees to obey state and local laws on cell-phone use. The state of New York forbids drivers from talking on hand-held phones, while the Cleveland suburb of Brooklyn became the first municipality to ban the behavior, in 1999.

    New Jersey and Washington, D.C., started requiring hands-free calling in cars beginning July 1.

    While most companies still allow employees to make business calls from the car, many advise their workers to hang up or let incoming calls go into voice mail if conditions require them to focus on driving.