With the end of daylight savings time on November 5, drivers in Kentucky are now at a greater risk for wildlife-related accidents. Deer are most active at night, and autumn happens to be their peak mating season, so some drivers may spot them on the roadsides from the hours of dusk to dawn. Bears also are prowling around for the calories they need for hibernation.
According to a survey, about a third of drivers in Kentucky and across the U.S. feel confident in their ability to safely text and drive, but over 90 percent believe the activity should be illegal. The online survey was conducted by Progressive Insurance in August.
Many car manufacturers boast about various technological safety features that their vehicles offer, including different types of collision avoidance systems. In order to determine how effective these systems are in saving lives, researchers completed a study in which they compared vehicles with these safety features with vehicles that did not have them.
Leading figures in the technology sector and many road safety advocates say that car accidents in Kentucky and around the country could eventually be a thing of the past thanks to self-driving cars, but the speed at which autonomous vehicle technology is being developed and deployed has alarmed some lawmakers. Measures being considered by the House Energy and Commerce Committee would require car manufacturers to certify their autonomous systems before testing them on public roads, and it would also place limits on the number of self-driving cars that can be tested at any given time.
Kentucky law requires the operators of motor vehicles to ensure that all child passengers are properly secured by seat belts or appropriate restraints or buckled into approved child safety seats, but the data suggests that these laws are routinely ignored. The Kentucky State Police says that only 67 percent of the state's motorists regularly fasten their seat belts, and research from Harvard University and the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center indicates that this is a pervasive problem in southern states.
It may be easier to identify Kentucky drivers who cause accidents due to phone distractions if state authorities decide to use a new device known as the "textalyzer". The device can be attached to a phone to check a driver's last few actions. It can also tell whether the driver was using the phone in hands-free mode. Although privacy advocates have expressed concern about it, those who have worked on developing the device say it does not download content.
When Kentucky residents are involved in a severe car accident, they may suffer post-traumatic stress disorder. These accidents usually involve the death of someone or severe physical trauma, and in some cases, people may be able to collect compensation for pain and suffering related to the crash as well as compensation for medical bills or vehicle repairs.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, of the traffic fatalities caused by human choice, the rate of fatal accidents caused by distracted driving increased faster in 2015 than by speeding or drunk driving. Distracted driving can involve any action that takes a motorist's attention away from the road, but one very common source is smart phones.
According to the recently released estimates from the National Safety Council, automobile deaths in Kentucky and the rest of the nation totaled 40,200 in 2016. That high figure, which was a 6 percent increase from the previous year, can be partially attributed to an increase in driving spurred by a thriving economy and inexpensive gas.
The number of Kentucky residents killed or injured in distracted driving accidents has been on the rise, and a federal road safety agency has asked electronics manufacturers to develop smartphone features that would make their devices more difficult for drivers to use. A lawsuit filed by a group of California road users against Apple Inc. has revealed that such a feature already exists but that the company has not chosen to make it available to the public.