Missouri Still Lacks Texting & Driving Ban

Forty-Seven States have passed a ban on texting and driving for all drivers except Florida, Montana, and Missouri. On average, there is a distracted driver-related crash once every three hours in Missouri. According to the Missouri State Highway Patrol, distracted driving crashes have increased between 2001 and 2015 from 1,850 to 2,612. How can this be when there is so much more awareness about how dangerous texting and driving can be?

House Bill to Ban Texting and Driving Died on the Senate Floor

Missouri Representative Galen Higdon has tried passing distracted driving legislation in Jefferson City for years. In 2017, the bill failed to get through the Missouri Senate. Higdon vows to attempt to pass the legislation again this current legislative session.

Several Municipalities Have Passed Safety Ordinances Banning Texting and Driving

A Manchester ordinance (December 2013) was signed into law yesterday banning texting or any electronic message device for everyone while driving. Currently, the Missouri law forbids individuals under 21 to text and drive, but the Manchester Mayer David Wilson put far more teeth into that law as of Tuesday. Now the law applies to all adults and teens and bans texting anywhere in the Manchester area. I applaud the new ordinance as I believe it reinforces the importance of safe driving and a move in the right direction to reduce the number of St. Louis texting car accidents.

This incident happened on Route 141: “We couldn’t figure out why traffic was going so slow, and we changed lanes, and here’s this lady driving 30 mph talking and pushing on the phone”, said Mayor Wilson. The Mayor said he had seen quite enough, citing an experience he had just the Saturday prior. When I read about his experience, it was a scenario we are all too familiar with.

Unfortunately, most of us have had close calls with distracted individuals while texting on their phones. We are lucky if the distracted texting driver slows down! Frequently, they waver over the lines of their lanes, miss seeing cars stopped in front of them, and in general, drive in an unpredictable, erratic way. The statistics of distracting driving due to texting is staggering. Now that almost all of us have smartphones, we use text messages as a convenient way to communicate. Technology is a great thing, but with it comes the challenges of multi-tasking. Multi-tasking is something I do, as do many people, but I have seen the tragic results of distracted driving due to texting, and it causes serious injuries and death every day. Driving is not an activity that tolerates multi-tasking.

Distracted driving and inattentiveness are the major causes of auto accidents. When you consciously choose to text and drive and endanger others, it is negligent. Negligent drivers need to be held accountable for the damages they cause in auto accidents. Driving while “intexticated” has become epidemic, and 47 states have chosen to address it.

Safety Experts Agree:

  1. Texting while driving causes approximately 1,600,000 accidents per year – National Safety Council.
  2. 330,000 injuries per year- Harvard Center for Risk Analysis Study.
  3. 11 teen death EVERY DAY- Insurance Institute for Highway Safety Fatality Facts.
  4. Nearly 25% of all car accidents.
  5. Texting while driving is about six times more likely to cause an accident than driving intoxicated.
  6. The same as driving after 4 beers.
  7. The number one driving distraction reported by teen drivers.

The fact remains………….driving is something that requires your FULL attention. Texting requires you to look away for 1-5 seconds which can be deadly for you or another person on the road.

We use our phones for everything. Now our phones come equipped with audio directions, so you don’t have to look down at a map or your phone for directions. Or perhaps, your vehicle has navigation, but again, it gives verbal cues so you can keep your eyes on the road.

Texting and driving are one of the absolute worst types of distracted driving because it is so avoidable.

If you have been the victim of a texting-related auto accident and you suspect texting or distracted driving was involved, then you will need legal representation. Our attorneys are experienced personal injury attorneys specializing in car accidents, trucking accidents, and motorcycle accidents. Call us today at (314) 276-1681 to schedule a free consultation.

Sources: City of Manchester Outlaws Texting While Driving-Mayor to sign the measure immediately. CBS. St. Louis, KMOX 12/16/13

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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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