Distracted Driving Still A Problem Despite Kentucky's Distracted Driving Law
While most drivers fully appreciate the dangers posed by drivers who operate a motor vehicle under influence of drugs or alcohol (DUI), there is less awareness of the serious risks posed by distracted drivers. This may explain why many motorists are more upset by drivers impaired by alcohol than those who text and drive. However, the risk posed by distracted driving may soon be as serious as that posed by drunken drivers. Based on this trend, many traffic safety experts are calling distracted driving "the new DUI."
The overwhelming popularity of smart phones like iPhones and Android based communication devices has resulted in an annual rise in collisions involving distracted drivers. In 2011, 3,331 vehicle occupants died in motor vehicle collisions caused by distracted driving involving cell phones compared to 3,267 deaths the previous year according to the official U.S. government website for distracted driving. According to this federal traffic safety information site, driving distractions play a role in nearly twenty percent of all traffic collisions.
The picture is equally grim when just distracted driving statistics for Kentucky are considered. During a recent two year period, there were in excess of a 176,000 collisions resulting in almost 54,000 injuries and 715 fatalities in Kentucky alone.
Many drivers do not realize that distracted driving may impair driving ability as seriously as driving while intoxicated. A driver who is engaged in text messaging activity is 23 times more likely to cause a collision according to a study conducted by the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute (VTTI). This high probability of causing an accident is partially related to the level of distraction created by texting and driving. Based on VTTI research, drivers who send or receive a text behind the wheel will divert their eyes from the roadway long enough to travel the full distance of a football field. Drivers who engage in text messaging while driving are not only more likely to cause car crashes but also to cause more serious accidents. Another study conducted by researchers at Monash University found that drivers who are engaged in text messaging are four times more likely to be involved in a collision where they experience some form of bodily injury.
Although Kentucky law prohibits all novice drivers (and bus drivers) from using a cell phone while driving and prohibits all drivers of any age from texting, distracted driving continues to cause serious car accidents. Because drivers talking on a hands-free Bluetooth device or texting can be difficult to detect and the penalty is rather benign, many motorists are not dissuaded from using their cell phone while driving. Sadly, texting and driving often is discovered only when reviewing cell phone records of drivers following a tragic accident resulting in wrongful death or serious injury.
Drivers who engage in texting messaging or calling on a cell phone are distracted in three separate ways. Drivers' eyes are averted from the phone when entering information or reading a text. Cell phone use also distracts a driver's mind from identifying and responding to potential road hazards. A driver's hands may even be "distracted" when reaching for a fallen cell phone or punching buttons on the phone. The multi-tiered level of distraction created by mobile communication devices explains the high probability of collisions involving drivers using cell phones to talk and text.
If you or someone you love has been injured in a Kentucky distracted driving auto accident or a loved one has died, you may have a legal claim for financial compensation. Our experienced Kentucky auto accident injury attorneys at Goeing and Goeing offer a free consultation so that we can evaluate your claim and identify the appropriate parties to hold financially responsible for your injuries or loss of a loved one. Weencourage you to schedule a FREE consultation and contact us at (859) 744-4004 or toll free at 1 (888) 595-2943 or visit our website at www.kylawpractice.com. We look forward to hearing from you and assisting you with your legal needs!