In recent years, the subject of distracted driving has become increasingly common in courtrooms across the country. New studies confirm that performing non-driving, manual tasks while behind the wheel increases the risk of getting in an accident by three times. One of the most common – and deadly – non-driving distractions is texting. The average driver takes his or her eyes off the road for five seconds while texting, which, at 55 miles per hour, equals the length of a football field.
An increasing number of states have passed laws against hand-held cellphone use while driving. While Kentucky’s distracted driving laws are comparatively mild, residents should be aware of the medical, financial, emotional, and legal consequences of driving while distracted.
Kentucky’s Distracted Driving Laws
Distracted driving laws were implemented in July of 2010, becoming fully effective in January 2011. Although texting while driving is banned across the majority of the U.S, cell phone use altogether, including talking, is only illegal in Kentucky if you are a novice driver under the age of 18. However, the law also focuses on bus drivers, who are prohibited from using cell phones and hands-free devices while driving. These are primary laws in Kentucky, meaning that no other cause for investigation is needed for a police officer to pull a driver over. The minimum fine for distracted driving in Kentucky is $25.
Distracted Driving Statistics
- In a study of drivers under the age of 20 involved in deadly car crashes, 10 percent were distracted at the time of the accident.
- Studies have proven that hands-free cell phones are no safer than regular cell phones.
- During daylight hours, roughly 660,000 drivers are manipulating a device while operating a vehicle.
- Child passengers are four times more distracting than adults.
- Infant passengers are eight times more distracting than adults.
- Talking on a cell phone while driving increases your risk of crashing by four, equal to the risk of drinking and driving.
- The risk of crashing multiplies by eight if you are texting.
- In a survey conducted by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, 90 percent of drivers considered cell phone talking, texting, and e-mailing use “unacceptable.” Nevertheless, 35 percent of the same group confessed to at least one of these acts while driving.
Other Types of Distraction
Texting is considered the most lethal form of distracted driving due to the combination of
cognitive, visual, and manual requirements. Although cell phone use for talking and texting is the most well-known form of distraction, other activities can be equally hazardous:
- Eating and drinking
- Grooming (applying make-up, etc.)
- Adjusting radio, CD player, MP3, or navigation system.
- Reading, including maps and directions
- Watching a video
Gladstein Law Firm – Serving Lexington, Bowling Green, Murray, and Owensboro
If you have been injured in an accident caused by a distracted driver, you may be eligible for legal compensation. At Gladstein Law, we provide experienced personal injury representation with a combination of compassion, skill, and tenacity. Attorney and founder Seth Gladstein uses his experience as an insurance company attorney to anticipate the prosecution’s plans and find weaknesses in their case. He will examine every detail of your situation to determine the best way to move forward. Contact Gladstein Law Firm today for a free consultation.