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Hands-free phones still open up drivers to other distractions

Every day across the U.S., at least nine people die in car crashes resulting from distracted driving. Most California motorists think of phone use when they think of distracted driving, but anything that takes one's eyes or mind from the road is a distraction. Eating, drinking, or talking with passengers can all constitute a distraction.

While hands-free phone use is acceptable in many places, even this can pose a cognitive distraction. In addition, it opens up drivers to other distractions. Lytx, a maker of video telematics and fleet management software, analyzed trends in risky behavior among the fleets that it serves and found out some interesting things in this regard.

The good news was that 65% of all phone use among its fleets in 2018 was hands-free. However, that year saw a 10% increase in the number of events where drivers using a hands-free device were distracted by something else, such as eating, drinking, smoking or using a second device. Lytx also discovered that hands-free phone users would tailgate or speed more frequently. Another good indication that drivers were distracted was that they neglected to wear their seat belt. In all, 23% percent of the unsafe events that Lytx analyzed involved a driver who was engaging in more than one risky action.

Distracted driving is one of the most widespread factors in car collisions, and one problem is that it can be hard to prove. Victims who intend to file a claim against a distracted driver, then, may want to have the assistance of an experienced attorney when seeking compensation for their losses.

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