It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to determine that texting and driving is a recipe for disaster, but sometimes statistics help drive the point home.
Kentucky is among the five most dangerous states for distracted driving, according to a study conducted by MoneyGeek, LLC.
Vehicles are dangerous enough machines. Don’t add numerous distractions to the mix.
According to moneygeek.com, there were 6,083 fatalities involving distracted driving in 2017 and ’18.
New Mexico ranked the worst in the category with 4.8 deaths per billion miles driven. The rest of the worst five for that two-year period were Kansas (3.1), Kentucky (2.8), Louisiana (2.7) and Hawaii (2.6).
According to MoneyGeek, there were 279 total deaths in Kentucky in 2017 and ’18. That’s an absolutely alarming number.
State law forbids texting while driving, but drivers are allowed to hold phones. If the driver is under the age of 18, it’s illegal to use a cell phone while operating a vehicle, period. It’s undoubtedly difficult for authorities to enforce the law.
Perhaps a law banning driving with a cellphone in hand will eventually pass in the Commonwealth. If it does, we’ll be on board.
Until then, though, here’s a tip: If you’re just driving a short distance, put the phone away from visibility — the middle console or glovebox suffice. If someone tries to reach you, you’ll be able to get back with him or her shortly anyway. For longer trips, it’s understandable that a phone may need to be within reach for an emergency call or as a GPS. There are plenty of device holders available for situations such as these.
Distractions are numerous enough without a phone. Many drivers eat or apply makeup while operating a vehicle.
If we all would just use common sense, be mindful of others and take care of ourselves, too, while driving, we’d see this alarming fatality figure decrease steadily.