Any type of distraction while driving can be dangerous, and sending or reading a text message can distract the driver for a few seconds or longer. This can create a lot of trouble for the other drivers on the road. According to research by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, distraction was the cause of 18 percent of all crashes that caused injuries or fatalities in 2010. Along with this information, the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute discovered that the risk of an accident is 23 times higher while a driver is texting than when a driver is not distracted.
Because of the high risk of accidents, Kentucky is one of many states that have cell phone laws prohibiting the act of sending or reading a text message while driving. The state also prohibits talking on a handheld device for anybody under the age of 18 or driving a school bus.
The incidents of texting while driving are higher for the younger generation, which is why it is important for parents to teach their teens about the dangers of distracted driving. Accidents can happen in a matter of seconds, especially if traffic slows or stops in front of a distracted driver. It is also important for parents to set a good example to their children by not texting while driving.
When a person is involved in a car accident with a driver who was distracted by a cell phone, the distracted driver may be liable for the damages. The victim may be able to collect compensation for property damage, medical bills, pain and suffering and even loss of income or earning potential. If the at-fault driver has liability insurance coverage, the insurance company may negotiate a settlement offer with the victims to compensate for the damages.
Source: fcc.org, “The Dangers of Texting While Driving“, September 12, 2014