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      New study says hands-free doesn't mean risk-free

      While some may think with the growing use of hands-free technology like Bluetooth headsets there are less distracted drivers on the road, a study performed by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety says otherwise.AAA representatives say dangerous mental distractions exist even when drivers' eyes are on the road because mental workload still causes a person's reaction time to slow down.When reaction times are compromised, officials say drivers can miss visual cues, such as bicycles, motorcycles and pedestrians.Corporal Jon Segroves with the Albany Police Department says although a lot of the items claim to be "hands-free," they still require you to press a button to answer the call.If you're traveling at 60 miles per hour, Corporal Segroves says it only takes a second or two to drive the length of a football field without looking up, which is extremely dangerous.AAA predicts a five-fold increase in the use of "infotainment" systems built into cars by 2018, and with these findings they're urging car companies to limit the distractions built into the newer models.Officials say even a simple radio or air conditioning unit can compromise your ability to drive, and add if you're going to listen to music or switch the air conditioner, do it while you're parked or stopped so you don't risk endangering lives.

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