Chicago is seeing an unexpected economic boon from its ban on using handheld cell phones while driving, which went into effect 8 months ago. While the ban has been a boost to wireless and Bluetooth makers, business is booming in another sector too -- hired cars.

Execs who just can't give up their cells while on the road are turning to hired car services, allowing them to keep talking while in traffic. Limo companies and chauffeur services are reporting a huge spike in business since the ban took effect. One company says its profits are up 40 percent over last year.