Data from Lytx, the video telematics and fleet management company, shows that hands-free phone use, while much safer than handheld phone use, creates an unintended consequence. Since drivers have their hands free, they become more open to other distractions. Drivers in Pennsylvania should know that Lytx looked at the data for 100,000 risky driving events, including video camera footage, before coming to its findings.

Among the fleets that it tracks, Lytx discovered that 65% of all phone use was hands-free in 2018: an increase of 27% from the previous year. There were also 625,000 fewer instances of risky driving when compared to 2017. The bad news was that there were 10% more instances where drivers using a hands-free device engaged in a second distracting activity like eating, drinking, smoking or using a handheld device.

In all, 23% of the risky events that were analyzed and scored involved a driver displaying multiple unsafe behaviors. Distracting behaviors were not all. For instance, some drivers who ate behind the wheel failed to wear their seatbelt. Other distracted drivers would be found speeding or tailgating.

Most cell phone use, in general, occurred at 65 mph. Researchers explain that this is the speed at which most drivers engage cruise control and feel they can be less attentive to the road.

When car collisions occur because of distracted driving, those who are injured may be eligible for compensation. It all depends on each party’s degree of fault. In Pennsylvania, plaintiffs who contributed to a crash can still recover damages if that contributory negligence is less than the defendant’s. Seeing a lawyer, then, may be a good idea before filing a claim. The lawyer might be able to evaluate the case and determine how much victims can receive as compensation for things like pain and suffering and lost wages.