State Warns Against Distracted Driving

From Kentucky Public Radio’s Tony McVeigh

A Kentucky teenager is helping launch a new state public awareness campaign on the dangers of distracted driving, particularly texting while driving.

On a typical July night last year, 18-year old Nicole Meredith of Louisville was driving and texting. Her parents had warned her to never use her cell phone while driving, but texting was second nature to the teen and she thought she could handle it. Suddenly, she was off the road and halfway in the median.

“Like anyone,” she says. “I freaked out and attempted to correct myself and ended up over-correcting myself.”

She totaled her car, but escaped unharmed. Now, she’s helping the state send a message. “Distracted driving is deadly driving. A message from the Kentucky Office of Highway Safety.”

The state says 53-thousand accidents and 199 fatalities last year in Kentucky were blamed on distracted drivers. Seven of the deaths involved drivers using cell phones.