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What are Kentucky’s distracted driving laws?

July 22, 2015

As you probably already know, in Kentucky, distracted driving is a serious problem. According to the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet Office of Highway Safety, distracted driving caused 169 fatalities and more than 14,000 injuries in 2014.

Eating, using a navigation device and even talking with a passenger are all considered distractions when you are behind the wheel. However, none of these is legislated the way that cellphone use is. Texting demands a driver’s cognitive, visual and manual attention, which leaves little else to focus on the road.

With that in mind, Kentucky has passed the following laws regarding cellphone use while driving, according to Distraction.gov:

  • No one of any age may text behind the wheel.
  • Bus drivers may not use either handheld or hands-free devices.
  • Novice drivers, or those younger than 18, may not use handheld or hands-free devices.

Each of these laws is a primary law, which means that a law enforcement officer who sees you engaging in the behavior can pull you over without any other traffic violation present.

It is also important to note that distracted driving is typically viewed as negligent behavior. Therefore, if you are seriously injured in an accident due to a driver texting behind the wheel, you may be entitled to sue the responsible party for damages. Though Kentucky is a no-fault state, people who incur more than $1,000 in medical expenses are able to step outside the system and pursue a personal injury claim.

While this information may be useful, it should not be taken as legal advice.