In a recent survey on distracted driving, almost 2 out of every 3 drivers polled said that they were not paying attention to the road while driving sometime within the last 30 days.
Half of the motorists said that they engage in at least one device-based distracting activity on most drives. This includes making phone calls, programming a navigation app, streaming music, and reading texts.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) survey is conducted in response to the thousands of fatal car accidents involving distracted drivers in the U.S. every year. The survey explores distracted driving and the impact mobile devices are having on transportation. Distracted driving is anything that takes a driver's attention off the road.
One conclusion reached by analysts questions the narrative that hands-free devices and apps are safe or safer to use while driving.
The Whaley Law Firm has represented many distracted driving accident victims in Jefferson County. If you were injured in a Louisville car accident, contact us to schedule a free case consultation.
Distracted driving survey
It's been apparent for years that smartphones and cell phones are frequently involved in distracted driving crashes. The survey, which involved about 2,000 drivers nationwide, drills down to find out more about how people use devices while driving and which tasks are more distracting than others, among other things.
Here are some highlights from the IIHS survey:
- When hands-free options are available, most drivers will choose to use them over manual engagement. Hands-free is not distraction-free, however, because hands-free devices and apps tend to be cognitive distractions. They engage the driver's mind in a task that isn't driving and thus increase the risk of a crash.
- Motorists between the ages of 18 and 34 were more likely to use smartphone apps while driving than drivers ages 35-49.
- Compared to other drivers, gig-economy employees, like Uber drivers and Doordash delivery drivers, were more than twice as likely to engage in any distracting activity, and they were almost 4 times more likely to use smartphone apps regularly.
- Parents are about 50 percent more likely than drivers without kids under 18 to regularly make video calls, check the weather, and engage in other smartphone-enabled diversions while driving.
- About 8 percent of drivers said that they regularly play games on mobile devices while driving.
Phone Down Kentucky Act
Compared to other states, Kentucky doesn't have many restrictions on cell phone use for most adult drivers. Talking on a handheld phone or otherwise using handheld devices is legal in Kentucky, though texting while driving is banned.
For drivers under the age of 18 and people with an instruction permit, intermediate license, or operator's license, the use of any handheld device while driving is banned. For all drivers, exceptions are made for emergencies.
Efforts by lawmakers to reduce distracted driving accidents have stalled. Several times, State Rep. James Tipton (R-Taylorsville) has filed a bill that would ban the use of handheld devices for all motorists. The proposed Phone Down Kentucky Act hasn't gotten much support from fellow lawmakers, but Tipton says he is hopeful that things will be different this session.
"It's just a matter of gaining the attention of the right people in the general assembly that hey, this is something we need to take a look at," Tipton said in a 2022 interview.
The Whaley Law Firm holds negligent drivers accountable
Although the Phone Down Kentucky Act would likely help discourage distracted driving, not all motorists will abide by it. Furthermore, using a phone is just one aspect of distracted driving. Any behavior that causes drivers to take their hands off the wheel, their eyes off the road, or their focus off driving raises the risk of a bad car accident.
Since 2004, The Whaley Law Firm has been advocating for the rights of injured drivers in the Louisville region. We have witnessed firsthand how something as simple as reading a phone notification may drastically alter someone's life. Attorney Aaron Whaley understands the challenges that often arise in distracted driving claims. For starters, few negligent drivers admit to driving distracted.
Attorney Whaley conducts thorough investigations. We get to the bottom of what happened no matter who tries to stop us. We know what it takes to win a distracted driving case in Louisville. And as always, you pay no fees unless you win.
If you were injured or a loved one was killed in a Kentucky car accident caused by a distracted driver, get in touch with us for a free consultation.