Vehicle accidents are a reality of operating on the roadways of Kentucky. They happen, and they happen more often than they should. During the most recent recording year of data on file, there were 780 total traffic fatalities across Kentucky, and more than 28,000 individuals sustained injuries as a result of vehicle accidents. Here, we want to examine the top five leading causes of vehicle accidents across the state as provided by the Kentucky Department of Transportation.
Distracted driving is a leading cause of vehicle accidents, not only in Kentucky but also across the country. Driver inattention can mean multiple things, but this typically revolves around drivers taking their hands off the wheel, their eyes off of the roadway, or their minds off of driving. Distracted driving can include talking to others in the vehicle, daydreaming, looking at a cell phone, talking on the phone, reaching for items in the vehicle, messing with pets in the car, etc. Driver inattention was responsible for more than 40,000 collisions on Kentucky roadways during the latest reporting year on file.
Drivers can lose control of their vehicle in a variety of ways. In some cases, losing control happens as a result of things outside of a driver’s control, including unexpected hazards on the roadway or weather. However, it is important to understand that drivers should adjust their speed and attentiveness based on changing roadway conditions. If rain is falling rather hard, this means the drivers should adjust their speed or pull over until the inclement weather is done. Drivers can also lose control of the vehicle if they swerve to avoid obstacles or overcorrect.
Drivers are required to yield the right of way in various scenarios. This includes yielding the right of way to other drivers when appropriate and yielding to pedestrians and bicyclists. The proper flow of traffic depends on drivers yielding win appropriately, including at stop signs and stop lights, when there is a yield sign, when merging, changing lanes, etc. Drivers must yield at crosswalks and for bike lanes.
Alcohol is a leading cause of traffic fatalities in Kentucky. Drivers who operate while impaired by alcohol, or any other substance, significantly increase the chance that an injury or fatal accident will occur. During the latest reporting year, 174 individuals lost their lives in alcohol-related crashes. Overall, there were more than 2,600 injuries caused by alcohol-impaired driving in Kentucky that year.
When drivers follow others too closely, this significantly increases the chance that a rear-end collision will occur. Drivers are required to leave enough space between themselves and vehicles in front of them so they can slow down or stop in case the other vehicle has to stop or swerve unexpectedly. Even though we are in collisions may seem like relatively minor incidents, they can still lead to significant injuries, including whiplash, traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord trauma, and more.
If you were involved in a Kentucky and need legal assistance, please reach out to our Lexington accident lawyers today!