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December 4, 2023

What are the Most Common Distraction Factors in Kentucky Truck Accidents?

Morrin Law Office

Distracted driving has become more prominent across the U.S. and in Kentucky. A driver who is not paying attention to the road creates an extremely dangerous scenario for everyone. If the person driving is operating a massive commercial truck while distracted, a resulting collision can turn catastrophic in an instant.

A motor vehicle accident involving a commercial truck can cause extensive injuries that leave victims scrambling to get their physical, mental, and financial life back on track. If you were hit by a commercial truck and believe the accident was caused by the truck driver’s lack of attention, you may have grounds for a personal injury claim.

Contact Morrin Law Office

 The personal injury attorneys at Morrin Law Office have spent years fighting to win back the life of those injured in a commercial truck accident. We can provide you with insight into the legal complexities of Kentucky personal injury claims and help you collect all the correct information prior to filing. Contact our office today at (859) 358-0300 to receive a free consultation regarding your case.

Defining Distractions

A motorist is considered distracted when anything takes their attention away from the road in front of them. Distractions can take place in many forms, but the three main types of distracted driving include:

  1. The driver takes their eyes off the road;
  2. The driver takes their hands off the wheel; or
  3. The driver takes their mind away from the task of driving.

The following lists common driving distractions:

  • Looking at a roadside billboard;
  • Checking self in mirror;
  • Staring at a crash on the side of the road;
  • Personal grooming;
  • Reading a map or newspaper;
  • Attending to passengers or pets;
  • Eating;
  • Drinking;
  • Using a cellphone;
  • Texting while driving;
  • Changing music or other system in vehicle;
  • Talking to passengers; or

Out of all the ways a driver may get distracted, the most visible source is texting while driving. Technology in general is an extremely dangerous distraction, since it could involve removing your eyes, hands, and mind from the task of driving. About 96% of adults in the U.S. own a cell phone, with 81% of those owning a Smart Phone and 72% regularly using social media on their phones. According to 2008 study by AAA, any use of the driver’s cell phone while operating the vehicle roughly quadruples the risk of a crash.

Additionally, the 2013 Traffic Safety Culture Index revealed that 83% of motorists rated texting while driving, while 58% rated any cell phone use as extremely dangerous to the safety of the road, despite many then admitting to using the same dangerous behaviors while driving. It’s also worth noting that drivers who use cell phones are more likely to engage in other dangerous behavior, such as speeding or running a red light.

Reasons for drivers using their cell phone can include reading or typing out messages, checking social media, viewing news updates, for navigational purposes, music or audio purposes, or to make a phone call. Whatever the reason may be, it is entirely not worth the possibility of a collision, especially with a commercial truck.

The Risk of Distracted Driving

When a person is distracted while driving, it increases the risk of a potential collision. In 2012, NHTSA estimated that distraction was a factor in 10% of all fatal motor vehicle crashes and 18% of accidents resulting in injury. In the Traffic Safety Culture Index, 88% of respondents claimed that distracted driving is worse than it was just three years ago.

Ultimately, distractions that take a driver’s attention from the road can create the following risks:

  • Risk of the driver missing cues from other drivers;
  • Risk of the driver missing objects in the road;
  • Risk of the driver missing a slow in traffic;
  • Risk of the driver losing control of the vehicle;
  • Risk of the driver causing an accident that leads to severe injuries; or
  • Risk of the driver causing an accident that causes death.

If you have recently been in an accident where you believe the driver was distracted, contact the attorneys with Morrin Law Office.

Distracted Driving Data in KY

The Transportation Cabinet of Kentucky defines distracted driving as any driving behavior characterized by cell phone usage, distraction, or inattention.

Between 2014-2018, there were 3,733 reported highway fatalities in Kentucky, in which 843 were caused by distracted driving. When compared to its neighboring states, Kentucky leads with distracted driving crashes. Kentucky has a 3.81% fatality rate due to distracted driving, with Virginia and Tennessee ranking at 1.51% and 1.42%.

The following provides data from the 2020 Kentucky Traffic Collision report on human factors of collisions:

  • 4,564 collisions were caused by distraction;
  • 35,345 collisions were caused by driver inattention;
  • 961 collisions were caused by cell phone use;
  • 646 collisions were caused by lost consciousness;
  • 1,051 collisions were caused by falling asleep;

The same report indicated that there were 7,999 total commercial truck collisions in 2020. The following lists data on contributing factors of the commercial truck collisions in Kentucky:

  • 225 truck collisions were caused by distraction;
  • 37 truck collisions were caused by cell phone use;
  • 2,749 truck collisions were caused by driver inattention;
  • 1,116 truck collisions were caused by driver not under proper control;
  • 60 truck collisions were caused by fatigue; and
  • 100 truck collisions were caused by falling asleep.

Dangers of Truck Accidents Caused by Distraction

While any distracted driver can cause a collision leading to serious injuries or death, there is an even greater risk of danger when the collision involves a commercial truck driver.

The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet defines a commercial truck as a vehicle with a registered weight of 10,000 pounds or more. A person operating a vehicle of that size and weight while distracted can easily lead to life-threatening situations. These truck drivers are often on the road for long hours, meaning they may find ways to pass the time that are ultimately considered a distraction.

Distractions that are common for commercial truck drivers can include:

  • Watching Netflix on their cell phone;
  • Watching a YouTube video;
  • Watching pornography;
  • Checking social media;
  • Playing games on their phone or tablet;
  • Sleeping at the wheel; and/or
  • Video calling another person.

Each year, the state of Kentucky moves around $578 billion worth of freight across their transportation system. This number is expected to go up from now through 2045, with an expected increase in the freight value moved by trucks. That could mean more distracted drivers on the road. Due to the increase in Kentucky’s transportation system, it is imperative that locals remain diligent on the road. If an accident with a commercial truck occurs, then those injured should consider hiring a personal injury attorney to represent their case.

To find out more about what to expect when pursuing a truck accident personal injury claim and the damages you may be able to recover, refer to our page all about commercial truck accidents here.

Have a Personal Injury Case from a Distracted Truck Driving Accident? Contact Morrin Law Office

If you’ve recently been involved in a motor vehicle accident with a commercial truck, you may be feeling concerned about your well-being as well as how to move forward from this traumatic experience. When considering filing a personal injury claim in Kentucky, hiring an attorney experienced in truck collisions is tenfold. This is because both the truck company and the insurance company will try to build a defense against your claim to remove the blame from them.

At Morrin Law Office, we have different resources we can use to help determine the cause of the accident. Once you’ve contacted the police and collected all relevant information relating to the collision, contact our office to have a knowledgeable personal injury attorney on your side. Keep in mind that the Kentucky Statute of Limitations for filing a personal injury claim for a motor vehicle accident is two years from the date of the collision, so we always advise to contact us as soon as possible. To receive a free consultation today, call Morrin Law Office at (859)358-0300.

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Morrin Law Office

December 4, 2023


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