Kentucky motorists should be aware that driving while using a smartphone can be dangerous. Distracted driving kills about 4,000 to 6,000 people each year and injures between 400,000 and 600,000 others. Perhaps surprisingly, teen drivers are not the most likely to engage in this dangerous behavior. According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, it is motorists in the 19-to-24 age group that are most likely to do risky things while driving.

The use of cellphones goes far beyond talking and texting. More than 60 percent of people surveyed say they keep their cellphones close to hand while driving. Texting is still the most common activity, but more than a quarter use Facebook and 14 percent use Twitter. People even shoot videos and video chat while behind the wheel.

Several organizations are working to make roads safer by educating drivers about the dangers of distracted driving and smartphones in particular. Parents are encouraged to set good examples for their children by banning devices once the car is turned on. If necessary, drivers should be reminded to turn their phone off.

A nonfatal accident caused by distracted driving can still be devastating. An attorney could use evidence such as the police accident investigation report, eyewitness testimony and the driver's cellphone records as part of a personal injury lawsuit seeking appropriate compensation from the at-fault motorist. Such a lawsuit could be successful even if no criminal charges are filed, as an injured plaintiff merely needs to establish liability by a preponderance of the evidence. That is a lower burden than that placed on the prosecution in a criminal trial.