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Kentucky road fatalities up fourth year running

As distracted driving becomes more of an issue across the country, drivers in Kentucky can also stand to focus more on the road. The State Journal reports that in Kentucky fatalities on the road went up for the fourth year in a row. The data provided by the Kentucky Office of Highway Safety and Kentucky State Police states that between 2015 and 2016 auto-related deaths rose 9.2 percent, and of all of the deaths on roadways this year, nearly a quarter of them were due to distracted driving, although it does not state which were related directly to smartphone usage.

Using smartphones while driving can have very dire consequences, and reports state that 11 teens die each day due to distracted driving because of smartphones. Experts say that texting while driving is worse than driving under the influence--the likelihood of an accident is six times more when the driver is texting. It is also illegal. Kentucky minors are not allowed to use their cell phones at all while driving, even in hands-free mode, and texting while driving is against the law for everyone.

According to data from EverQuote, Inc., which has studied data on the EverDrive app that measures how safe drivers are, 41 percent of rides in Kentucky contain at least one distracted driving event. While this places drivers from the Bluegrass State in the middle of the country’s rankings, it is still above the nationwide average of 38 percent. The data also suggests that drivers in Kentucky speed on 33 percent of trips, which can cause an accident to be worse.

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