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Hands-free cell phones causing more distraction

Many Missouri motorists use hands-free devices to talk on their phones while they drive. While doing so may be safer than taking a hand off the wheel, new data shows that these devices might have some drawbacks. When people are not using their hands to talk on the phone, they could be engaging in other distracting behavior like eating while driving.

Analysts from Lytx looked at a sample of commercial truck drivers and found that 23 percent of them engaged in more than one distracting behavior at the same time. Typically, drivers engaged in multiple distracting behaviors by talking on a hands-free cellphone and doing one other thing. Some of these can increase a driver’s risk of getting into an accident by 100 percent.

Lytx found that when commercial truck drivers are using a cellphone, it’s usually while they are traveling at 65 mph. Analysts say that this may be because truck drivers put their vehicles on cruise control once they get up to highway speeds. Another thing Lytx found was that certain risky behaviors correlated with others. For example, drivers that eat behind the wheel usually don’t wear seat belts.

When truck accidents happen at high speeds, the consequences can be devastating. Occupants of other smaller vehicles involved in the collision often have to face lengthy periods of expensive medical care and treatment, and in many cases they are unable to return to work, further worsening their financial condition. They might find it advisable to have the help of an attorney when seeking compensation for their losses.

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