Distracted driving and speeding accidents by the numbers

It's one of the types of misconduct that can feel perfectly innocent because it sometimes seems like almost everyone does it. In much the same way that we might sneak into a movie theater with some snacks in our pockets, we lead-foot it around town and don't think twice about it. However, while getting caught with some snuck-in candy at the movie theater might earn you a reprimand, the consequences of speeding can be life-altering.

The same could easily be said about distracted driving. Your phone erupts with that familiar buzz and your first instinct is to pick it up or glance at the message. If it's important -- and even if it isn't -- you tell yourself you'll just give a short reply. Sadly, this sort of brief inattention while driving has led to serious injuries and countless deaths.

Actually, countless is not the right word because, in fact, we do have a count. The federal government has complied data on both of the above-mentioned subjects and the results are fairly harrowing.

Some of the news is good -- from 1990 to 2009, the number of individuals killed in motor vehicle crashes in the U.S. went down, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. However, that number was still at 33,808 people in 2009.

Of the U.S. auto deaths from 2009, 10,591 happened as a result of speeding, including 154 in the state of Kentucky. That same year, distracted driving crashes led to 5,474 deaths and 448,000 people getting injured in the U.S.

If you've been the victim of a distracted or speeding driver, you shouldn't have to bear the burden of medical expenses, lost wages and pain and suffering alone. A Kentucky attorney may be able to help you get compensation.

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T.J. Smith, Attorney at Law
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