A car accident can take you months or even years to recover from. You may suffer physical injuries that require extensive treatment and be forced to take time off work or lose your job altogether. A car accident also often leaves permanent psychological and mental scarring. You might be afraid to drive again.
Many car accidents in Kentucky are caused by distracted driving, which is defined as any activity that takes your attention away from the primary task of driving.
Scary statistics on distracted driving
The statistics on distracted driving are not getting any better. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that distracted driving is the top factor in most car accidents, with 80% of accidents and 65% of near accidents involving some form of distracted driving.
Phone use is one of the biggest forms of distracted driving. Kentucky law allows drivers 18 or older to use a phone only to select a name or number to make a call or for using a navigation system. Texting while driving is banned for drivers of all ages.
Types of distracted driving
However, distracted driving involves more than just using your phone while driving. Eating, drinking, adjusting music volume, grooming or even talking to someone else in the vehicle are forms of distracted driving.
You can avoid distracted driving by limiting your phone use while driving. Make calls while you are not driving and never text while driving. Do not engage in any of the activities described above and if you talk with a passenger, avoid emotional or angry conversations.
If you are driving with children or pets in your car, make sure they are properly secured and provide plenty of distractions to keep them busy.
How to handle a distracted driver
While you may do everything you can to avoid being a distracted driver, you have no control over other vehicles on the road.
Watch for signs of other distracted drivers. Speeding, driving aggressively or veering between lanes are all signs of a distracted driver.
Avoid distracted drivers as much as you can. Do not follow closely behind them and if they tailgate you, move to the other lane or consider pulling off the road and letting them pass you.
Distracted drivers are acting negligently and when they cause an accident, they should be held accountable for their behavior. Taking a second or two to glance at a phone or reach over to grab something could cause an accident that changes your life forever.
Proving that distracted driving caused your accident can be challenging. Gathering the right type of evidence is crucial. The distracted driver might argue that you were acting negligently as well, which could reduce your total amount of compensation in a personal injury action. Therefore, having a strong case is essential.