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Kansas Ranks 2nd in Percentage of Fatal Car Accidents Caused by Distracted Driving

Distracted driver adjusts the temperature in her vehicle while driving in Kansas.

Drivers in Wichita, KS, reminded to stay focused and stay safe

According to a recent analysis, distracted driving remains a leading cause of fatal car accidents in Kansas. Driver inattention is a factor in more than 20 percent of deadly crashes statewide.

The number of distracted driving deaths has skyrocketed in Kansas and remained high. In 2020, distracted driving contributed to 84 fatal Kansas car accidents, according to a national crash data analysis. Five years prior, in 2015, the state reported up to 6 distracted driving deaths statewide, according to the state Department of Transportation (KDOT).

Kansas has been consistently ranked one of the most dangerous states for distracted driving in the U.S., according to Forbes. In the past two years (2019 and 2020), only New Mexico has outpaced Kansas in the frequency of fatal crashes involving distracted drivers, as noted in the Forbes report.

Distracted driving accidents are preventable

Distracted driving is a choice, which means that accidents due to a lack of focus are preventable. To help reduce the risk of severe injury and fatal car accidents, Warner Law Offices is participating in Distracted Driving Awareness Month this April.

In our more than 25 years of serving Kansas' injured accident victims and the families of fatal crash victims, our Wichita car accident lawyers have learned that the more people understand about distracted driving, the less likely they are to engage in this type of negligent driving behavior.

If you were hit and injured by a distracted driver in Kansas, we can help. Contact Warner Law Offices now for a free case evaluation.

Kansas distracted driving law and enforcement

Responding to the epidemic of inattentive drivers on Kansas roadways, this April, the state is stepping up distracted driving law enforcement to raise awareness.

"A text message or using apps on your phone can take your eyes away from the road for 5 seconds," said Kansas Highway Patrol Lt. Candice Breshears in a statement. "At highway speed, that's the length of a football field. You think about the things that can change in that amount of time when you're going highway-speeds. If you're not looking at the road you're not going to be able to react if something happens out there. So, it's very important to make sure you're focused on the road at all times."

Kansas bans texting and driving for all drivers but allows motorists to use handheld devices while operating vehicles. Distracted drivers who cause car accidents can be charged with "reckless driving" in Kansas. Being found guilty of such a violation can raise insurance premiums by more than $200 on average, according to an analysis by Bankrate.

Some Kansas communities use local ordinances to further restrict distracted driving. Junction City and Manhattan, for example, ban "listening or talking on wireless communication devices while driving" unless the device is specifically designed for hands-free operation and is being used in this manner.

Distracted driving statistics

Distracted driving is more than texting and driving or using a cell phone while operating a vehicle. There are three main types of distraction - visual, manual, and mental or cognitive. Things like eating, drinking, using a GPS navigation system, talking to passengers, grooming, or reaching for items inside a vehicle are all examples of distracted driving. Here are some recent distracted driving statistics:

  • Cellphone usage can decrease a driver's focus on the road by up to 37 percent, according to a study.
  • From 2009-2019, distracted driving crashes increased by 61 percent for Kansas drivers ages 61-75.
  • Most drivers know driving distracted is wrong, yet they do it anyway. According to surveys, some of the common beliefs held by distracted drivers include:
    • That they can safely juggle driving and other tasks.
    • That they are, overall, better drivers than everyone else.
    • That they are compelled to stay "plugged in" at all times.
  • Drivers who text while operating a motor vehicle are 23 times more likely to become involved in a car accident.
  • The chance of a crash happening while a driver's eyes are not on the road increases by 400 percent.

Let Warner Law Offices protect your rights

Distracted driving is a killer. It's a dangerous and often fatal habit that can ruin lives. If you or a loved one has been injured in a Kansas wreck caused by a distracted driver, you need to seek legal help right away. Our experienced Wichita car accident attorneys can help you seek the compensation you deserve for your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.

We have a reputation for being aggressive advocates for the injured and holding negligent drivers accountable for their reckless actions. We'll fight for you every step of the way, so you can focus on recovering from your injuries. Don't wait. Contact Warner Law Offices today for a free consultation.

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