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Fatal Crashes Often Involve Distracted Drivers

Distracted driver texting while operating his vehicle.

A Louisville, KY accident attorney explains the dangers of distracted driving.

Distracted driving is reckless and causes thousands of fatalities and injuries each year. For example, according to Forbes Advisor, distracted driving is responsible for 3,000 deaths annually. When drivers are distracted, they cannot fully concentrate on the road, and this increases the likelihood of accidents. Distracted drivers are more likely to miss important signs, signals, and road hazards or make errors, such as swerving into other lanes, resulting in catastrophic outcomes.

To combat this issue, April is recognized as Distracted Driving Awareness Month, with the goal of promoting attentiveness while driving. This initiative aims to raise awareness about the dangers of distracted driving and encourages all drivers to stay focused while on the road. By staying alert, we can make our roads safer for everyone.

Understanding the types of distractions

Most people think of distracted driving as talking on the phone or texting, but many other things can divert a driver's attention. Distractions are categorized into three types:

  • Visual distractions: anything that takes a driver's eyes off the road, such as:
    • Looking down at a phone
    • Looking at a GPS
    • Checking out a billboard
    • Watching an accident or something happening on the side of the road (rubbernecking)
  • Manual distractions: anything that takes a driver's hands off the steering wheel, including:
    • Eating or drinking
    • Reaching for something in the car
    • Adjusting the climate controls or music
  • Cognitive distractions: Anything that takes a driver's mind off the task of driving, such as:
    • Daydreaming
    • Worrying
    • Engaging in conversation with passengers
    • Dealing with personal problems

What are the distracted driving laws in KY?

Texting while driving has been illegal in Kentucky for 11 years, and since then, there have been over 10,000 violations of the law, according to WHAS11. While Kentucky only prohibits texting and driving, five of the seven neighboring states have a "hands-free" law that bans all cell phone use while driving. Lawmakers in Kentucky are considering updating the law to keep up with technological advancements.

The Insurance Institute of Kentucky conducted a poll in January on a proposed hands-free law. The results showed that 88% of participants said they would likely comply with the law, and 65% believed it would reduce accidents.

Currently, the penalty for violating the law is a $50 fine for a first offense, with subsequent offenses resulting in higher fines. However, the introduction of a hands-free law could increase penalties and further deter distracted driving.

Tips to avoid distracted driving

To help prevent accidents and stay focused on the road, follow these safety tips from the Health & Safety Institute:

  • Put your phone away. To minimize temptation, keep your phone out of reach and on silent. If you need to use it, pull over to a safe spot.
  • Plan your route ahead of time. Program your GPS or map out your route before you start driving. This way, you can focus on the road and keep your hands on the wheel.
  • Eat before you drive. It's important to fuel your body before you hit the road, just as you would your car. Avoid eating or drinking while driving, as it can cause distraction and impair your ability to control the vehicle.

Remember, these tasks can wait. Stay alert and attentive while driving to keep yourself and others safe on the road.

Talk to a Louisville, KY car accident attorney today

Despite the risks and legal consequences, there are still many reckless and negligent drivers on the road, posing a serious danger to themselves and others. If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident caused by a distracted driver, you have the right to seek justice and financial compensation for your losses.

At The Whaley Law Firm, we have years of experience representing accident victims in Kentucky. We are committed to holding negligent drivers accountable for their actions and helping you obtain the compensation you deserve. To learn more about how an experienced car accident lawyer can help you, contact us today to schedule a free consultation. Our office is located in Louisville, Kentucky, and we are ready to fight for your rights.

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