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Texting at the wheel plays a role in many Kentucky collisions

Although mobile phones have made distracted driving more overt and noticeable, they certainly aren't the origin for this particular safety issue. People have found excuses to focus on anything other than the road in front of them while driving since vehicles were primarily pulled by horses. It's just more apparent when someone has a phone in their hand.

In fact, an analysis of federal crash statistics indicates that roughly four out of every five collisions relate directly to distraction on the part of one of the drivers involved during the three seconds leading up to the crash. About two-thirds of near-collisions also involve distraction.

Despite broad awareness among adults of the dangers of distraction, many people still engage in distracted driving. Whether they choose to talk with passengers, straighten their clothing or mess with a phone, distracted drivers create a lot of risk for other people on the road. Anyone who gets hurt by a distracted driver can probably bring legal action against the distracted driver under Kentucky law.

Texting at the wheel has been illegal in Kentucky for almost a decade

Federal regulations about texting and driving only apply to commercial drivers. Passenger vehicle drivers have to follow individual state statutes instead. Although some states have been slow to adopt texting rules for drivers, Kentucky was not one of them. There has been a law against texting while driving for drivers of all ages since 2010.

Unfortunately, that law has done very little to reduce the pull of cellphones for people on the road. Talking on the phone may also be illegal in certain circumstances. Drivers under the age of 18 are not allowed to use personal communication devices in any way while in control of a vehicle.

Those over the age of 18 don't necessarily violate the law by talking on the phone, but they should still apply common sense and best practices when making decisions about whether a conversation will distract them too much from the task at hand.

Texting opens the door to civil liability

Texting at the wheel and other forms of distraction are definitely a kind of negligence that can impact other people on the road. Negligence is usually all that is necessary to bring a civil action, whether you are pursuing compensation for property damage, a personal injury you suffered or the wrongful death of a loved one.

However, thanks to the no texting laws, some forms of distracted driving also constitute a wrongful act. Talking to an attorney about the circumstances of your crash and its impact on your life is usually the best first step toward getting the compensation you need after someone else causes a serious crash.

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Shumate, Flaherty, Eubanks & Baechtold

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Richmond, KY 40475

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