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Don’t Be A Distracted Driver

FRANKFORT, Ky. (KT) – To mark April as National Distracted Driving Awareness Month, highway safety officials in Kentucky are driving home a life-saving message for all drivers: “Buckle up and put the phone down.”

“Kentuckians can help protect themselves and all our families by buckling up every time they enter a vehicle and choosing to put down their phone,” said Gov. Andy Beshear.  “These basic safety practices make a considerable difference in preventing crashes and lessening the severity of injuries and the number of deaths on our roadways.”

The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet’s Office of Highway Safety Buckle Up/Phone Down campaign ( features videos, radio spots, social media and digital advertising in both English and Spanish.  Additionally, focus groups and online surveys are being conducted to improve the campaign.  The survey is open to the public and can be completed between now and April 15, simply by going to

“Taking our short survey gives Kentuckians a chance to share their thoughts and helps us develop effective campaigns to educate motorists on safe driving behaviors,” said Transportation Secretary Jim Gray.

Over the past decade, distracted driving has become one of the leading causes of vehicle crashes on our nation’s roads.  Every year, the Kentucky Office of Highway Safety says, distracted driving in Kentucky results in over 50,000 crashes, more than 15,000 injuries and approximately 200 deaths.

“Preventable deaths and injuries are the hardest ones to accept,” Gray noted.  “These are not just numbers.  These are people – mothers, fathers, sons, daughters – who either didn’t survive or their lives were seriously altered, due to someone not making a safe choice when behind the wheel.”

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, while anything that takes a driver’s eyes off the road, hands off the wheel or mind off the task of driving is a hazard, texting and using a phone while driving is especially risky because it combines all three types of distraction – visual, manual and cognitive.

Choosing not to text while driving is not only the right thing to do, it also keeps you from breaking the law,” Gray added.  “When you get behind the wheel, putting away your phone should be as automatic as putting on your seat belt.  Unfortunately, many motorists do not do either, which is why we are promoting the Buckle Up/Phone Down message.”

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