This spring, the Kentucky Office of Highway Safety launched the Buckle Up/Phone Down initiative to address two common causes of serious auto accident injuries. Data from OHS reported by ABC News 13 indicates that distracted driving alone causes about 200 fatalities and 15,000 injuries every year.
Review the laws about this practice in Kentucky to help prevent highway catastrophes related to texting and driving.
Restricted device use
Kentucky law says that drivers may not send, read or write texts or other electronic messages while operating their motor vehicles. However, the state does not prevent motorists ages 18 or older from talking on a cell phone while driving. Younger motorists can receive a ticket for this action unless they are contacting law enforcement or assistance in an emergency.
Permitted device use
Kentucky does have exceptions to the texting and driving laws. Drivers may use their devices to report illegal activity, get in touch with law enforcement, connect with medical assistance, enter phone numbers, navigate with a GPS system, or take steps to prevent injury or protect property.
While the state has relatively permissive laws about texting and driving, removing all distractions can reduce the risk of accidents. Drivers should consider stowing their devices until they reach their destinations.
When distracted driving results in catastrophic injury, the injured person can file a lawsuit against the at-fault driver for the costs resulting from the accident. He or she must have at least $1,000 in medical bills to go outside the insurance system and has two years to submit a legal petition.