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Personal Injury Attorneys Serving Clients Throughout Ohio

Hands-Free Phones, Though Legal, May Open Drivers to Distractions

Ohio residents can use a hands-free phone behind the wheel, but they should know that this still has the potential to open them up to other distractions. This was one of the findings of a recent study from Lytx, the video telematics and fleet management software maker. Lytx analyzed some 100,000 risky driving events that were captured by its video technology and found that 23% involved a driver engaging in multiple unsafe behaviors.

Even more important, there was a 10% increase in 2018 in the number of drivers using hands-free phones who also engaged in a distracting activity like eating, drinking, smoking or using another device. The same year saw a 13% rise in risky driving behaviors linked to handheld phone use.

Distracted drivers were found to do unsafe things like speed, follow too closely to the car in front and travel without a seatbelt. As for phone use in particular, it occurred most at 65mph: the speed when most drivers put on cruise control and feel they can be less attentive to the road.

There was good news, though. Lytx recorded 625,000 fewer risky driving events among its clients in 2018. That year saw a 27% increase in hands-free phone use so that it comprised a total of 65% of all phone use.

Drivers need to watch out against three types of distractions: cognitive, visual and manual. The reason is that drivers will be held liable for any auto accidents they cause through even a moment’s inattention. In this state, crash victims can file a claim if the defendant is more than 50% at fault. Whether they recover a fair amount in damages may depend on how strong the case is that they present. This is where the representation of a personal injury lawyer might be of benefit.