Distraction: Not just deadly for drivers

Every driver in Kentucky should know that texting while driving is both dangerous and illegal. And while there is not a ban on cellphone use while driving, engaging in any activity involving your cellphone behind the wheel can be incredibly unsafe and unwise.

Unfortunately, people are missing this message and it is causing serious problems all across the country. In fact, according to recent statistics, cellphones are believed to be at least partially to blame for the largest increase in pedestrian deaths in 40 years. 

There were 6,000 people killed in pedestrian accidents last year, according to the Governors Highway Safety Association report. This is the highest number of pedestrian fatalities recorded since 2010.

Authors of the report have not identified the causes for the record increase, but distraction by cellphones is almost certainly a contributing factor.

Drivers who are distracted by their phones are not looking at their surroundings; they are not as alert, and they may not be able to swerve in time to avoid hitting an obstacle. This obstacle can easily be a pedestrian, especially at night when pedestrians are already more difficult for drivers to see.

Phones can also be distracting to pedestrians. When they are looking at their phone, they may wander outside of a crosswalk, stumble off a curb or cross the street against a red light. If they are listening to music or a podcast through earphones, they may not hear horns honking or people yelling to get out of the way.

Of course, distraction is not the only thing contributing to the rise in pedestrian fatalities, but it is likely a major factor. It is also completely preventable. If drivers and pedestrians can put the phones away and stay tuned in to their surroundings, they can make the roads safer for themselves and others.

Sadly, distracted driving accidents will continue to happen in Kentucky and across the U.S. While you may not be able to stop every distracted driver from causing an accident, you can hold accountable the distracted driver who hurt you in an accident. With legal guidance, you can file a legal claim and pursue the compensation you deserve. 

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