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Study finds drivers using hands-free phones still distracted

New Hampshire drivers who use hands-free devices may not be as safe on the road as they think they are. The company Lytx, which works in the area of video telemetrics and analysis, released data on the commercial and public sector fleets that it works with. The data covered more than 100 billion miles of driving and 100,000 of what the company identified as "risky driving events." Lytx found that talking on the phone hands-free was somewhat distracting, but many drivers significantly compounded that distraction by engaging in other activities, including using other devices, smoking or eating.

Distraction is the second leading cause of fatal accidents in which commercial drivers are at fault, and distracted driving kills nine or more people daily on the nation's roads. Lytx reported that hands-free cellphone use is on the increase, which is positive, but many drivers do other activities at the same time that make the risk of an accident higher. The company found that cellphone usage was the most common at 65 mph, possibly because this is the upper speed limit in many trucks, and drivers would set their cruise control at this speed.

Lytx also found unsafe behaviors happening in clusters. For example, drivers who ate while behind the wheel also tended to follow other vehicles too closely.

It is important to determine who is responsible in motor vehicle accidents since that person might be held liable for the expenses of people who are injured. The company a commercial driver is working for when the accident occurs might also be considered liable. Injured individuals may want to consult an attorney to discuss how to proceed because the party responsible for the accident might try to avoid paying compensation by disputing the cause of the accident or the extent of the injuries.

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