Memorial Day Driving

May 27, 2012


Drinking and driving still accounts for many fatal vehicle crashes across Kentucky.  More and more prescription pill impairment is joining alcohol as a cause for tragic collisions.  As drivers hit the highways for their return following the holiday weekend, Robert McCool with the University of Kentucky’s Injury Prevention Center says these wrecks may not be related to drug abuse at all.

“But we have people who have legitimate medical needs for prescription drugs, but they’re not always cautious about operating vehicles safely…you know, they’ll take pain medical or whatever and drive when they really shouldn’t,” said McCool.

The summer season tends to mean an increase in car trips.  For some, it’s a time to take a vacation, but even trips around the community seem to increase during warm months.  A great deal of attention in recent years has centered on distracted driving through the use of cell phones.  While admitting, texting and driving should never be done, University of Kentucky Injury Prevention Specialist, Robert McCool says even a spilled drink in the back seat can be a distraction.

“It’s just very important for people to realize that anything that distracts their attention away from the roadway for maybe more than a second..two seconds at most is extremely dangerous…and with motor vehicles there’s just not a second chance,” added McCool.

Kentucky has had a primary seat belt law since 1994.  McCool says seatbelt usage is above 85 percent, but that still leaves a large number of people who travel unrestrained.  He says too many people still don’t use booster seats to restrain young children.