Today, we have better access to technology than ever before. With distractions like phone calls, emails, text messages, and social media at our fingertips, it can be hard to put down our phones even while driving.
Unfortunately, distracted driving remains a serious and widespread issue in Kentucky. WhistleOut recently released a study showing that this state ranks among the worst for distracted driving. Cell phone use and other distractions were responsible for 8,485 car accidents in Kentucky in 2017, and the problem- along with the death and injury count- continues to grow.
Although there is widespread awareness of the dangers of distracted driving, people continue to check texts and browse their Facebook feeds just long enough to cause a serious accident. If you are injured because a motorist was more concerned about their social media than safety, a Louisville car crash lawyer at The Schafer Law Office can help you pursue the compensation you need to recover.
Distracted Driving Information:
- What Makes Distracted Driving so Dangerous in KY?
- Types of Distracted Driving Charges in KY
- Distracted Driving Accident Settlements in Louisville, KY
- Who Pays My Medical Bills After a Distracted Driving Accident in KY?
- How Much does a Distracted Driver Accident Lawyer in KY Cost?
- Why Should I Hire The Schafer Law Office for my Distracted Driving Injury Case?
What Makes Distracted Driving So Dangerous in Kentucky?
One study by Carnegie Mellon found that using a smartphone behind the wheel reduces the amount of brain activity associated with driving by 37%. Another project, this one carried out by the University of Utah, concluded that smartphone use while driving (even hands-free) can delay your reaction time as much as having a BAC of .08%.
- When you send or read a text, your eyes are off the road for around five seconds. If you are traveling at 55 mph, this is the equivalent of driving the length of a football field with your eyes closed.
- It can take only three seconds for a car crash to occur after a driver has been distracted.
Distracted driving is one of the leading causes of fatalities and injuries on U.S. roads. Motor vehicle crashes involving distracted drivers killed 3,142 people in 2019. According to the CDC, one in five of those killed in distracted driving crashes in 2018 were not in vehicles―they were walking, riding their bikes, or engaging in similar activities.
Accidents that are not fatal can still cause catastrophic injuries such as:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Back and neck injuries
- Internal organ damage
- Spinal cord injuries
What are the Different Types of Distracted Driving Charges in Kentucky?
Driving while distracted can have many different effects on a driver’s manual, visual, and cognitive functions. Below is an overview of actions that commonly contribute to distracted driving accidents.
- Texting and Driving: In the United States, almost one out of every four car accidents involves texting while driving. Cell phones are a huge distraction on the road, and texting is the most dangerous of all cell phone-related activities.
- Using the GPS: Using your phone’s GPS can be just as dangerous as texting. Looking at the directions even for a moment can result in tragedy.
- Talking to Passengers: Driving while talking, laughing, or looking at your passengers is distracting. In fact, teenagers driving with an additional passenger are twice as likely to be involved in a fatal car accident.
- Eating and Drinking: Consuming food and beverages while driving can distract you long enough to cause a crash. If you drop or spill anything, the risk of a distraction-related accident goes up.
- Daydreaming: A study by Erie Insurance found that daydreaming, or ‘zoning out,’ was a factor in 61% of auto fatalities between 2012 and 2016.
- Applying Makeup: Drivers who put on makeup or even comb their hair while driving can become distracted enough to cause an accident.
When you have been seriously injured by a distracted driver, one of the last things you should worry about is battling insurers for fair compensation. Sadly, it is an uphill battle many injured people have to face in Louisville. When a negligent driver causes an accident that leaves you with a painful recovery and even permanent impairment, a skilled Louisville distracted driver accident lawyer at The Schafer Law Office can aggressively negotiate for the money you need and take your case to trial if the insurance company doesn’t offer a fair settlement.
Distracted Driving Accident Settlements in Louisville, Kentucky
In Louisville, distracted driving settlements are generally based on the extent of your injuries and their anticipated impact on your life. If you are injured by an at-fault driver, you may be entitled to both economic and non-economic damages.
Economic damages include but may not be limited to:
- Medical bills, both current and future
- Lost income
- Loss of earning ability
- Property damage
Non-economic damages include:
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
Your Louisville distracted driving accident attorney can use medical records and bills, pay stubs, and expert opinions to assign value to your claim. Other factors taken into account include:
- The type and severity of your injuries
- Your age and health prior to the injuries
- The impact of your injuries on your professional, social, and family life
- How likely you are to recover fully, or how much you will recover
Some personal injury claims qualify for punitive damages, which are intended to punish a wrongdoer for especially egregious conduct. Unlike some states, there is no cap on punitive damages in Kentucky, so if the driver who hit you has a record of distracted driving offenses, this money can form a significant part of your compensation.
Who Pays My Medical Bills After a Distracted Driving Accident in KY?
Kentucky is a no-fault insurance state. If you’re in an accident, you make a claim against your own auto insurance policy to recover damages. If you meet the state’s serious injury threshold, you may pursue the distracted driver for damages.
You must meet the following thresholds to be eligible to sue an at-fault driver in Kentucky:
- Medical expenses exceeding $1,000
- A broken bone
- Disfigurement or permanent injury
- Death of a family member
Compared to a lot of other states, these are low thresholds. Your Louisville distracted driving attorney can advise you whether you can seek compensation from the driver in addition to the PIP payments from your insurer.
How Much Does a Distracted Driver Accident Lawyer in KY Cost?
The Schafer Law Office takes personal injury cases on a contingency fee basis, meaning that we deduct our fees from your settlement or award. You don’t have to pay us upfront and if we don’t recover money for you, you owe us nothing at all. In other words it’s free unless we win your case and get you a recovery.
Please contact us today to get your claim started. Kentucky has only a one-year statute of limitations for personal injury claims, so it’s important to act quickly. If you wait too long, you may be barred from seeking compensation for your injuries, so don’t delay. The Schafer Law Office is ready to help.
Why Should I Hire The Schafer Law Office for my Distracted Driving Injury Case?
The Schafer Law Office has been helping accident victims with the most complex claims for over 30 years. Attorney Mike Schafer also has inside knowledge on how insurers try to avoid paying claims, as he worked for an insurance defense firm before opening his own practice.
We provide aggressive advocacy for distracted driving victims. Obtaining fair compensation from a negligent driver isn’t easy, and our Louisville car accident lawyers have the resources and expertise needed to prove that the driver is to blame. Our firm represents drivers, passengers, pedestrians, and bicyclists who suffer injuries and losses as a result of distracted driving, and we have helped many clients throughout Kentucky to secure favorable settlements for their injuries.
Cell Phone Use In Fatal Car Crashes Underreported
According to the National Safety Council (NSC), fatal car crashes that involved cell phones may be underreported or inconsistently reported. NSC reviewed national statistics on 180 fatal car crashes from 2009 to 2011 and found that only 52% of the crashes in 2011 were coded in the national data as involving cell phone use. Now, let’s talk about the challenges of reporting cell phone use in fatal car crashes, and why it may not be reported accurately.
Why is cell phone use so hard to report?
Cell phones can be hard to see. Meaning it can be hard for police to determine if a person is using their cell phone illegally, like texting while driving, or if they are simply looking down. There are five main reasons why reporting a cell phone-related accident is so difficult. They include:
- Drivers over 18 years old may use their cell phones to dial a phone number and use the GPS function. In Kentucky, a driver over the age of 18 may use their phone to dial a number or use the GPS function on their phone. This means if a police officer pulls a driver who they believed was texting while driving, which is illegal for all ages, the driver could claim that they were dialing a number.
- No scientific test to determine cell phone usage. When alcohol is a driver distraction, there’s the sobriety test. Police can also check alcohol levels in the blood. The same rings true for drugs. However, there’s no way to test if a cell phone caused the accident or not.
- Cell phone records are hard to uncover. Obtaining cell phone records takes time. While this could be the proof that everyone’s looking for, it’s difficult to determine whether the driver was distracted at the time of the accident. Also, data could be erased at any time without a trace.
- Drivers hurt badly or deceased. Drivers are the ones who know whether or not their cell phone use had something to do with the car crash. Unfortunately, if the driver was injured or worse, killed in the accident, they may not be able to provide testimony.
- Inconsistent statements from witnesses. While investigators can conduct interviews to onlookers on the scene of the accident, there is no guarantee that the data they gather was true to what actually occurred. Stories vary. Also, a person can only remember so much.
Are New Mothers The Most Distracted Drivers?
A new survey has found that new mothers have been talking, texting and checking email at a pretty alarming rate while driving with their new babies in the car. According to the survey, 78% of mothers with children under the age of two acknowledge talking on the phone while driving with their babies. Another 26% admitted to texting and checking email while driving.
Distracted Mother Survey
Safe Kids Worldwide and American Baby Magazine conducted the survey and, according the report, were surprised to find that new mothers’ behavior rivals that of teenage drivers. They also noted that while cell phones were the main distraction, nearly two-thirds of the mothers said they turned around to deal with their baby in the back seat while driving. The survey had 2,396 mothers and most of them noted that they think they are safe drivers but engage in risky behavior. Among the mothers surveyed, 63% stated they are more cautious behind the wheel since giving birth, but it’s not reflected in their behavior. This is alarming since most think they are driving safely. Out of these mothers, 10% of those who drove an average of 150 miles per week admitted to having been in a crash while driving with their babies. That number is nearly three times higher than that of the general public and is close to the crash rate of teen drivers.
Speak to a Louisville Distracted Driving Accident Attorney Today
Distracted driving accidents in Louisville are unfortunately all too common. If you or someone you love has been hurt by a distracted driver, our Louisville distracted driving accident attorneys are here to help. We will fight on your behalf against the insurance companies so that you receive the maximum compensation your case deserves. For more information or to schedule a consultation, please contact us online.