April marks Distracted Driving Awareness Month nationwide, but the number of crashes, deaths, and injuries in Kentucky due to just that may shock you.
57,000—that’s the number of crashes due to distracted driving on Kentucky roads last year—in addition to 14,600 injuries and 147 lives taken.
Those are numbers directly from the Kentucky Office of Highway Safety.
“We’re doing everything that we can to get to zero deaths,” Wes Watt, Public Information Officer for Kentucky Transportation Cabinet District 3 says, “it’s a lofty goal but that’s what we want. We want no deaths on our Kentucky highways.”
Kentucky's texting law can also leave you reaching in your pockets to pay a fine of 25 dollars for the first violation and 50 dollars for any following, plus court costs.
Law enforcement wants you to remember it's not just texting and driving that’s distracting either.
“We have all gotten to a location at some point in time and thought “oh I don’t remember driving and sometimes how I got here” because we’ve had something else on our mind,” Captain Tim Robinson with the Warren County Sheriff’s Office says, “anything you do that takes away from your concentration of driving—it’s distraction.”
Robinson explains it as eating in the car, yelling at the kids, riding with your pets in your lap, daydreaming about what went on during your day, talking on the phone, texting and more.
A few Southcentral Kentucky locals tell WNKY they’re not perfect when it comes to distraction-free driving either,
“I’m guilty,” Michael Harrington says, “I’m no angel but I don’t make it a habit.”
“I don’t eat in the car, I don’t like it,” Connie Pittman tells us, “but [talking] on the phone, yes,” and agrees, “I don’t use my cellphone because I realized it distracts me. I’ve got a one-track-mind so I don’t do it—I don’t do it anymore.”
Have you been impacted by distracted driving? Email firstname.lastname@example.org