Think you’re safe behind the wheel because you only use a handsfree device to talk? It turns out that any use of your phone, including with a handsfree device, could still put you at risk.

A new distracted driving study from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety has found that cellphone use can increase the risk of crashes by up to 8 times. This study is the first epidemiological research project completed on the topic in ten years. The study also found that drivers who are talking on the phone even using a handsfree device face four times the crash risk of their peers.

Motorists put themselves and others at risk when they pick up the phone while driving. In the study, two-thirds of drivers polled said they found it unacceptable for other drivers to use a handheld phone but one third of drivers admitted to doing it on a regular basis.

Nearly 90% of drivers who participated in the study said they felt it was unacceptable for someone to be emailing or texting while driving. The significant gap between the number of people who believed that this is a dangerous behavior and the number of people involved in doing it is a serious issue for those who are hurt in significant accidents. If you have already been hurt in a catastrophic accident, you need to consult with a San Diego personal injury lawyer.

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