Distracted Driving FAQs

Distracted driving is one of the most dangerous things that can occur on the roadway. In fact, the dangers of distracted driving are on par with impaired driving, and the reality is that most people drive while distracted and do not think twice about it. Here, we want to answer some of the most common questions associated with distracted driving on the roadways of Kentucky.

How Dangerous is Distracted Driving Overall?

Distracted driving is one of the leading causes of vehicle accident injuries and fatalities in this country. When we look at data available from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), we can see that 3,142 individuals lost their lives as a result of distracted driving during the latest reporting year across this country.

What is Considered Distracted Driving?

Data available from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows us that there are three main types of distracted driving:

    1. Visual – This includes any type of activity that takes a driver’s eyes off the roadway.
    2. Manual – This includes any activity that takes a driver’s hands off the wheel.
    3. Cognitive – This includes any type of activity that takes a driver’s mind off of the driving process.

Going by these definitions, there are a multitude of activities that could constitute distracted driving in the state of Kentucky. This can include using a mobile device for any activity, including calls, texting, watching videos, taking pictures or videos, etc. This can also include eating or drinking in the vehicle, talking to others, reaching for items in the vehicle, distractions from pets, and more.

How Dangerous is Distracted Driving Compared To Drunk Driving?

Distracted driving and driving while impaired by alcohol or drugs are both incredibly dangerous propositions. Alcohol-impaired driving remains a leading cause of traffic fatalities in Kentucky and throughout the country each year. Driving while impaired by alcohol does tend to lead to more fatalities than distracted driving, but distracted driving causes more accidents and injuries.

The CDC says that when a driver is operating at 55 mph, sending or reading a text message is like driving the length of a football field with their eyes closed. Similarly, impaired driving significantly inhibits an individual’s ability to operate a motor vehicle safely.

What Are Kentucky’s Distracted Driving Laws?

Many states around the country place limits on an individual driver’s ability to use a mobile device while a vehicle is in motion. Here, we want to review the most basic cell phone driving laws:

  • Talking on a phone – There are no restrictions on talking on a cell phone while driving a vehicle in Kentucky. The exception to this includes motorists under the age of 18 who are operating with any type of permit as opposed to a regular driver’s license. In these situations, the driver may not use any type of personal communication device while the vehicle is in motion.
  • Texting while driving – It is against the law for any driver in Kentucky to use a personal communication device to read, write, or send a text message while the vehicle is in motion. This prohibition includes regular text messages, communication through any type of messaging app, and email.

Drivers in Kentucky are allowed to use their devices to access GPS features, use the GPS navigation system integrated into the vehicle, select a phone number or the name of a person to make a phone call, and to report any situation to law enforcement officials.