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Study Shows Kansas Has the 2nd Most Distracted Driving Fatalities

A driver distracted and taking a photo while behind the wheel

Distracted driving has become a national epidemic. In the U.S., distracted driving was responsible for over 3,000 fatalities in 2020. No matter what form of distracted driving a driver participates in, there is a risk of causing a serious car accident that results in severe and sometimes fatal injuries. Unfortunately, far too many drivers continue to drive distracted, especially in Kansas.

Texting and driving in Kansas

There are many different forms of distracted driving. However, some of the most common causes of distracted driving accidents are cellphone use, eating, and talking to passengers. Texting from any wireless device while driving is illegal in Kansas, yet it is still one of the most common forms of distracted driving. Unfortunately, texting and driving accidents are often fatal because taking part in such behavior completely takes a driver's eyes off the road. That increases the odds of a driver veering into oncoming traffic or rear-ending another vehicle at high speeds without applying the brakes.

As reported by KW Channel 12, the Wichita Police Department says the city averages about 800 vehicle accidents per month, the most common cause being cellphone use. Just this year in the city, 23 people have died in crashes. The WPD says it believes people need to be more attentive and focus on slowing down and reaching their destination slowly and safely.

Kansas distracted driving statistics

Out of all 50 states, Kansas had the second most distracted driving fatalities in 2020, according to data published by Newsweek. For every 100,000 licensed drivers, there were 4.49 deaths. According to Trusted Choice, about 2,223 car wrecks are caused annually by distracted driving. Of those wrecks:

  • 26 percent were caused by cellphone use.
  • 65 percent were caused by applying makeup, reading, eating, or talking to passengers.
  • 9 percent were caused by using other electronic devices

Annual data shows Kansas is constantly in the top 10 worst states for distracted driving. Despite the lockdown in the first year of the pandemic and fewer cars on the road, distracted driving was at an all-time high in 2020. That year, Kansas was ranked 3rd worst in the nation for distracted driving. According to MoneyGeek, Kansas moved down in position from 2019 to 2020.

How to prevent distracted driving

KDOT encourages drivers to put their cellphones away while behind the wheel. Placing it in the trunk, back seat, or glove box will prevent you from texting or checking socials while driving. If your cellphone offers a "Do Not Disturb" feature, it is highly recommended to use it while driving.

Cellphones should only be used in emergencies while driving. Also, drivers should avoid eating or grabbing anything from around the car during their trip. If you need to do any of these tasks, pull over where it's safe so you don't end up causing a collision.

Seek legal help if a distracted driver hits you.

Distracted driving is dangerous and is often fatal. If you or a loved one was hurt in a Kansas wreck caused by a driver who was distracted or otherwise negligent, you should seek legal help right away to review your rights and options.

You may be entitled to compensation for your losses, including medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. An experienced car accident attorney can handle every aspect of your claim and fight for the outcome your case deserves.

At Warner Law Offices, we understand what it takes to build winning cases in Wichita, the lowlands, and beyond. Attorneys Thomas M. Warner Jr. and Anne H. Pankratz have a reputation for being aggressive advocates for the injured and holding negligent drivers accountable for their reckless actions.

Contact us today for a free consultation to find out how we can help you.

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