Are Kentucky Distracted Driving Accidents on the Rise?

 The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration places driver distraction as the leading factor in automobile collisions, stating that nearly 80 percent of auto crashes and 65 percent of “almost” crashes, involve some form of distraction which occurs within three seconds of the event. In the state of Kentucky, in 2014, there were more than 53,000 auto collisions related to distracted driving, resulting in 169 fatalities and more than 14,000 injuries. The NHTSA recognizes three types of distraction: Manual distraction (taking your hands away from the wheel), visual distraction (looking somewhere besides the road), and cognitive distraction (having your mind somewhere besides on the task at hand—driving).

Texting—The Most Dangerous Distraction

All distractions drivers engage in can be dangerous, however texting is considered the most dangerous because it involves all three types of distraction. The state of Kentucky banned texting for drivers of all ages while the vehicle is in motion, although for drivers who are over the age of 18, drivers are allowed to use GPS devices, and can select or enter a telephone number in order to make a phone call while driving. Other types of distractions include:

  • Eating or drinking while driving;
  • Smoking while driving;
  • Using electronic devices while driving;
  • Turning around to reach for an object or check on children while driving;
  • Allowing pets to be unrestrained in the vehicle;
  • Talking to passengers;
  • Fiddling with music or GPS controls while driving;
  • Reading a paper map while driving, or
  • Grooming while driving.

A fact which is surprising to many (but perhaps not so much to mothers), having children in the car is four times as distracting as having adult passengers in the car, and having an infant in the car is eight times more distracting than having adult passengers.

The Increase in Distracted Driving Accidents in Kentucky

In 2015, there were 58,000 Kentucky car collisions attributed to driver distraction—up 5,000 from 2014. The Executive Director of the Kentucky Office of Highway Safety attributes this increase to cell phone use, and the fact that people have become “desensitized” to driver distractions, and more comfortable with multi-tasking—even when they should be paying strict attention to their driving. Unfortunately, the way the anti-texting law is written, if the driver does not admit they were texting, then an officer is rarely able to issue a citation.

Contact Our Kentucky and Indiana Car Accident Lawyers

If you have been involved in an accident due to another driver who was driving while distracted, it could be beneficial to speak to an experienced Kentucky personal injury attorney who can investigate your accident thoroughly, and work hard on your behalf for an equitable settlement.

To learn more about your legal rights, contact experienced Louisville car accident attorney, Kevin Sciantarelli, today for a free consultation. Call 1-855-538-4611 or fill out our online contact form for more information