Thousands of injuries and hundreds of unnecessary deaths occur on Kentucky roads every year. The majority of the accidents are caused by human error – which means they’re almost always preventable. In 2016 alone, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported 834 people lost their lives in traffic accidents in Kentucky. Of those individuals, 111 were motorcyclists, 81 were pedestrians, and 9 were bicyclists.
If you were injured in an accident or lost a loved one, it can be difficult to cope with the fact that the collision could have been prevented. At the Law Office of Todd W. Burris, we want to promote safe drivers and driving habits. Let’s take a look at five ways we can help keep Kentucky roads safe for you and your family. If you take these tips into consideration, you’ll be aiding in accident prevention and saving lives.
1) Avoid Instances of Distracted Driving
Distracted driving is one of the leading causes of car accidents all throughout the country. Simple tasks like talking on a cell phone or eating become dangerous behind the wheel. While our brains can toggle between tasks, the fact is we just can’t do two things at once. Our ability to focus while driving decreases by 33 percent when we add an additional task.
In order to combat distracted driving, take the following tips into consideration:
- Only use your cell phone in emergency situations.
- Avoid eating or drinking.
- Store loose possessions that could potentially roll around.
- Adjust your seat, mirrors, and radio before you put your car in drive.
- Finish your dressing and grooming before you get in your car.
- Secure children and pets properly.
- If you need to tend to a child, pull over.
- Never send a text or email while driving.
2) Follow Traffic and Safety Laws
As a responsible driver, it’s crucial to follow the traffic and safety laws established by whatever state you’re driving through. These laws are in place for the safety of all travelers. Below you’ll find a list of some of the more common driving laws in Kentucky.
- Cellphone Use and Texting: Hand-held devices are allowed in Kentucky. No one under the age of 18 is allowed to use an electronic device while driving. Texting is prohibited by all drivers.
- Speed Limits: Unless marked otherwise, rural and urban interstates are set at 65 miles per hour. All other roads, unless specified, are set at 55 miles per hour.
- Driver’s License Requirements: The minimum age to get a learner’s license is 16. Restricted drivers are not allowed to be on the road from midnight to 6 AM. License renewals are required every eight years.
- Child Restraints: Children 40 inches or less should be placed in a car seat. Children seven or younger who are between 40 and 57 inches tall are required to be in a booster seat.
- Seat Belt Usage: All drivers and passengers are required to wear a safety belt while in a moving vehicle.
- Motorcycle Helmet Usage: All rider 20 years of age or younger are required to wear a helmet while operating or riding a motorcycle.
3) Maintain Your Vehicle
Approximately every 3,000 to 5,000 miles your vehicle should be serviced. Consult your vehicle’s handbook for specifics. Whether you’re taking your vehicle to a mechanic to be serviced or doing the job yourself at home, you’ll want to make sure you change the oil, rotate the tires, check the tire pressure and fill the tires if needed, and check your fluid levels. If you have any concerns about the way your car or truck if performing, take it to a shop as soon as you can.
4) Reduce Your Speed
In addition to distracted driving, speeding is one of the contributing factors in auto wrecks. Speeding does not just mean driving above the posted speed limit. You may also be speeding if you’re driving too fast for the road conditions.
A speeding ticket will not just cost you hundreds of dollars and an increased insurance premium, but it also reduces your ability to adjust to curves or objects in the road. You need to be able to brake in time for suddenly stopped traffic or a wandering animal.
5) Participate in Statewide Road Safety Initiatives
Kentucky has a variety of highway and road safety initiatives, strategies, and projects. They focus on areas like impaired driving, motorcycle safety, distracted driving, young driver accident prevention, and construction zone safety. As a Kentucky citizen, it’s important to recognize what highway hazards are prevalent in your state and know what you can do to be a better driver.
Sometimes the steps we take to improve road safety aren’t enough in the face of other negligent drivers. If you or a loved one have suffered in a Kentucky car accident, you may want to consider seeking legal representation to get the justice you deserve. Let us battle the insurance companies, while you focus on your recovery. Our Lexington, KY car accident attorneys will provide you with a free consultation. Contact us today with your questions.