While many people believe the phrases “distracted driving” and “texting and driving” to be interchangeable terms, there are actually many other activities that fall under the umbrella of distracted driving. Under Kentucky law, distracted driving is any activity that causes your attention to be shifted away from the road, which increases the risk of an accident.
What Is Distracted Driving?
Now you may be asking, “What exactly is distracted driving?” To better answer this question, the CDC has categorized the three main types of distractions, they are:
Visual - Visual distractions are those that cause you to take your eyes away from the road
Manual - Manual distractions are those that cause you to take your hands away from the wheel
Cognitive - Cognitive distractions are those that cause you to take your mind away from driving and the road ahead
Distracted Driving Examples
Distracted driving can be broken down even further within the three groups:
Turning to chat with passengers
Changing the radio
Fixing your hair
Changing the radio
Updating your GPS
Engaging in meaningful conversation with passengers
Making phone calls
As you can see, cellphone usage is listed in all three categories, which is the reason why it is seen as such a dangerous driving impairment. In fact, brain imaging done by Carnegie Mellon University proves that cellphone usage impairs the user’s brain activity by 37%, which may result in activities such as swerving lanes, running stop signs, and ignoring traffic patterns—all of which increase the likelihood of an accident.
In an attempt to combat distracted driving, Kentucky has implemented a few laws:
Drivers under 18 are not legally allowed to use a cellphone, for any reason
Drivers over the age of 18 are able to use a cellphone, however, texting behind the wheel is illegal for everyone in the state of Kentucky
Ignoring these laws may leave you with a hefty fine or citation. Not to mention the hazard you become to those around you once you partake in distracted driving activities.
Who Is Most at Risk?
While everyone is at risk for driving distracted, there are certain groups which, statistically speaking, are put at a much higher risk.
Young Adults & Teens
Drivers under the age of 20 have the highest amount of fatal distracted driving accidents.
In 2017 9% of all teen deaths were linked back to distracted driving.
The CDC’s national Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System (YRBSS) monitors all health-risks among teens. In their recent study about distracted driving, they concluded that in 2017,
35% of all teen drivers in Kentucky reported that they sent a text or replied to an email while driving.
Those who admitted to texting and driving were:
Less likely to wear their seat belt
More likely to drive under the influence
More likely to get in a vehicle with a driver who is under the influence
How Can I Tell If a Distracted Driver Caused My Accident?
In some situations, it will be very apparent that the driver who caused your accident was distracted. You may have seen them looking at their cellphone or taking part in one of the activities listed above. Sometimes the at-fault party will admit their negligence and admit to driving distracted due to feeling guilty, although this is rarely the case.
In most situations, proving that the other driver in your accident was acting negligently by driving distracted is a challenge to do alone. This is why you often see individuals working with an experienced Kentucky auto accident attorney when looking to pursue compensation for their car accident.
Scott Justice and Justice Law Office, are proud to bring their experience and knowledge to help you seek the compensation you deserve following an auto accident caused by a distracted driver. The emotional, financial, and physical damages you’ve suffered deserve to be compensated, and we will do everything in our power to ensure the best possible outcome for your case.
Call us today (502) 822-2230 for more information about your case, to schedule a free consultation, and to learn how we can help you recover.