Missouri, One of Three States Where Texting and Driving Still Legal

Distracted Driver Crashes Occur Every Three Hours in Missouri

According to the Missouri State Highway Patrol, there is a distracted car crash in Missouri every three hours on average. From 2011 to 2015, the number of distracted driving crashes climbed from 1,858 to 2,612.

Missouri is one of three states that has not passed a ban on texting and driving. Forty-seven states have banned all texting and driving for all drivers except for Arizona, Montana and Missouri. In Missouri, drivers 21 and younger are banned from texting and driving; but it does not apply to drivers over 21. This 47 state ban includes DC, Guam, Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico. National Conference of State Legislatures

House Bill Died in the Senate in 2017

Missouri Representative Galen Higdon has tried to pass a distracting driving law in Jefferson City for several years. The last attempt died in the Senate. Higdon is going to attempt to bring the bill to the floor again this session.

Statistics are Overwhelming

Safety experts have so overwhelmingly agreed that texting and driving is so dangerous that 47 states have banned it. Safety Experts agree:

  • The time it takes a driver to check a text, about 4 seconds is the time it takes a car to travel the length of a football field (at 60 mph)
  • National Safety Council reports that about 1.6 million crashes occur each year due to distracting driving
  • Nearly 330,000 injuries occur from these crashes
  • One out of four crashes in the U.S. is caused by texting and driving

You May Get Ticketed in Some Areas of the State

Even though the State of Missouri has not passed a ban on texting and driving, some municipalities have taken action. Law enforcement have said that due to the age restriction in the Missouri law, it makes the law difficult to enforce. Some municipalities in the greater St. Louis area have banned all drivers from engaging in texting and driving. Manchester is one of those municipalities as well as St. Louis County and Florissant. St. John also passed similar ordinances to reduce the number of distracted drivers.

Everyone I know has had a scary experience with a distracted driver. You know exactly what I’m talking about—you’re calmly driving in your lane and glance over at the driver next to you only to see a light reflected on their face. It’s not the dashboard. Or, you’ve been behind someone in traffic and you can see they are texting or perhaps watching a video as they drive! They swerve into the next lane whether it is going the same direction or into oncoming traffic. It’s infuriating because you can see it coming and you just want to scream, “Pay attention!”

Watching someone text and drive has become infuriating to all of us. I know people try various tactics to get others to stop, but honking or yelling at others can fuel road rage. I don’t advocate that anyone get involved in a conflict on the roadway. But, wouldn’t it be nice if there were some consequences for these unsafe drivers through tickets?

Manchester Missouri Mayor Signs Ordinance to Ban All Texting and Driving, 12/18/16, Zane T. Cagle www.allinjuryattorney.com

Texting/Distracted Driving is the Most Common Cause of Motor Vehicle Collisions

Often time people are pretty sure that someone else was texting or not paying attention which led to a crash. Sometimes it is difficult to prove that someone was actually “texting” and driving. “Inattentive Driving” is an all-encompassing term that refers to any behavior that involves the driver taking their eyes off of the roadway. We all know this is called not paying attention. It’s one thing if you hit your own mailbox because you are not paying attention and quite another when you hit someone else.

Failing to be attentive is the number one cause of crashes, especially rear-end collisions. But, distracted driving can occur at anytime on the roadway. The most you can do is be responsible for your own driving. Make sure you are not driving distracted which includes: texting, operating any kind of social media, eating, putting on makeup and turning around in the car to deal with an object or person in the back seat. If you are behind the wheel, you should be looking at the road.

If you’ve been injured due to another driver being inattentive, you will need legal assistance. In addition to being irritated, you have medical bills that have to be addressed. Serious injuries and fatalities can occur in any distracted driving crash. In fact, it is more common than driving under the influence of alcohol. Often when a crash occurs where the other driver is distracted, you are mad. Rightfully so, but you should call an attorney to help you with your claim. Being “mad” is no state of mind to be in when you call an adjuster.

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The Cagle Law Firm serves accident and injury clients throughout St. Louis and the greater St. Louis metropolitan area, including the eastern Missouri and southern Illinois communities. If you or a loved one needs legal assistance with your personal injury case, call The Cagle Law Firm at (314) 276-1681 or use our online contact form to schedule a free consultation.

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