In Kentucky and across the United States, distracted driving is an ongoing problem that does not appear to have an end in sight. Because there are so many options to stay connected and people tend to want to multitask, the advent of the cellphone has been a dual-edged sword. It allows people to stay in touch, but is also an irresistible attraction to continually use for calls, text messages, checking social media, the web, playing games and for directions.
Despite attempts on the part of cellphone companies, automakers, legislators, law enforcement, government entities and safety advocates to hammer home the point as to its danger, people continue to drive distracted.
Drivers, passengers, bicyclists and pedestrians should be keenly aware of this problem and pay strict attention to indications that other drivers are distracted. Still, that might not prevent all accidents and those who have been involved or had a loved one injured or killed should think about their options.
Kentucky takes steps to reduce and prevent distracted driving accidents
To address distracted driving, various steps are being taken including a recent crackdown by law enforcement as part of distracted driving awareness month and a proposed bill to make Kentucky a “hands-free” device state.
Various entities chose April as Distracted Driving Awareness Month to entreat drivers to put down their devices and watch the road. In Kentucky, the statistics show the problem. Around 50,000 collisions happen on an annual basis because of distraction. An estimated 15,000 injuries and 200 fatalities occur, respectively, as a result.
An advertising blitz along with enhanced enforcement are strategies that are being implemented. Officials hope this will be effective.
Along with that, early in 2021, a lawmaker proposed House Bill 258. Currently, texting and driving is illegal in Kentucky. The bill would expand that to prevent people from even holding the device and would include times when they are stopped in traffic. It is still up for debate. A similar bill was proposed several years ago, but it stalled.
If it ends up being passed, Kentucky will be “hands free.” That means drivers would not be legally allowed to hold a device while they are driving. Still, the texting and driving ban has been in effect for more than a decade and a limited number of tickets are issued for it.
Authorities will conduct a full investigation and all options will be presented
While every auto accident is different, there are certain hallmarks that clearly identify if a driver was likely distracted behind the wheel when the collision occurred.
If, for example, they drifted into another lane without explanation; ran through a stop sign or a red light; or drove onto the sidewalk, there is a good chance they were simply focusing on a device and not the road. If this behavior led to an accident with injuries and fatalities, it is imperative for those who were involved or lost a loved one to have help.
The concept of having qualified assistance is based on holding those responsible to account. In short, to “make ‘em pay.” Guidance from professionals who have a history of maximizing the compensation that injured people and loved ones left behind can be the key factor in a successful result. Distracted driving accidents can happen to anyone.
Often, it is people who are simply going back and forth to work; are running errands; are taking a leisure trip; or are heading to and from school. If, for example, a 33-year-old mother has just taken her children to school and is heading to her job, a distracted driver could rear-end her vehicle, cause her back and neck injuries leading to major medical expenses, the inability to work and challenges with caring for her family.
Insurance is unlikely to cover all that was lost and a legal claim may be required to get what they are entitled to and need. In any situation, seeking help immediately is vital. Discussing the case with experienced, caring and assertive professionals can make all the difference.