Cagle Law Firm
Attorney Zane Cagle

Posted on September 13th, 2019,
by Zane Cagle

MoDOT Issues Saftey Warning after Vehicle Collides with Road Truck

Missouri Lawmakers Consider Full Ban on Texting While Driving

Posted on September 13th, 2019 by Zane Cagle

A crash incident on Tuesday afternoon, September 10th involved a car striking the side of  MoDOT vehicle.  According to officials, the MoDOT vehicle was striping the road at a slow speed when it was struck by a vehicle traveling the same direction.  According to MoDOT, when trucks are striping they have to travel between 8 to 11 mph which is considerably slower than other traffic. However, striping at night instead of the daytime is even less safe due to visibility.

Visibility is Not the Real Issue- Distracted Driving

According to MoDOT, visibility is not really the problem.  Instead, they indicate that inattentiveness of drivers causes crash incidents like Tuesday. Safety experts have been informing the public for quite a while that distracted driving is a really big safety issue across the nationwide.  Officials indicated they were happy that no one was seriously injured in the incident.  However, not all of these collisions have been injury free.

Inattentiveness is the Number One Cause of Crashes

Inattentiveness is the most common cause of all motor vehicle collisions whether it involves passenger vehicles, road work vehicles or semi-trucks.  Inattentiveness includes many behaviors and covers any and all behaviors behind the wheel that contribute to a driver failing to pay attention. Distracted driving is generally a term reserved for those who are using devices while they drive.  If you have not encountered another driver while they were using their smart phone, then you are lucky.  Most of us have had a personal driving experience where someone was engaged in distracted driving and nearly hit us or worse, did hit another car.

Many are Growing Inpatient with Distracted Drivers

Possibly,  many of us are growing inpatient with distracted drivers because we directly see the peril they are causing on the roadway. If you have been hit and injured by one of these distracted drivers, you experience many emotions including anger.  We get angry because we know that crashes due to distracted driving are preventable. If you’ve been injured and require a bunch of medical treatment because someone blew through a red light while texting, you have a legitimate right to be annoyed.

If You’re on Your Phone at the Time of a Crash, You May Have Problems

If you are involved in a crash while you are on your phone, you could have some liability problems.  Of course, each crash is very fact specific; but as we each become less tolerant of distracted driving, so do groups of people called “juries” A jury is made up of community members and each juror brings their practical life experience with them.  Should you be a Defendant or a Plaintiff in a car crash suit, the relevance of whether you were on your phone may become really important to a juror.  While talking on the phone while driving is not “illegal”, a juror may consider that you were possibly not exercising a reasonable degree of safety while driving if you were “on your phone”.  Texting and driving has been banned in almost every municipality in the greater St. Louis area and jury members may frown upon that behavior as just about every person has had a negative experience with a distracted driver.

General Public is So “Over” Distracted Drivers

Hands down, the general public is so very over distracted drivers and the dangers they create.  For quite a few years, public service announcements and law enforcement have educated everyone on the dangers of distracted driving.  Most of us have had a very personal experience with a distracted driver. Whether they just sat in traffic or swerved in your lane because they weren’t paying any attention.  Truly maddening is when you are traveling side-by-side with a vehicle on the interstate and you look over and they appear to be watching a movie on their phone or texting away!! What the heck is that?  The movies and videos are for your kids so they can be entertained. They are not for drivers to VIEW as they drive!!!  Come on now!  In the time that it takes to respond to a text, you can travel the length of a football field and never see anything!!  Hence, if there is a big ole MoDOT truck painting stripes on the road, you may rear-end that thing.  Passenger vehicles rear-ending or side swiping a large truck rarely works out well for the passenger vehicle driver.

If you aren’t worked about the financial resources of the State of Missouri, you should at least be concerned about the worker you may hit or the fact that you may seriously injure yourself and those in the vehicle with you!  Not only are MoDOT vehicles an issue, but stranded motorists and emergency vehicles are hit way too often.  Is it not enough that the emergency assist personnel are trying to save someone’s life? As if their jobs are not challenging enough, let’s put them in immediate peril by driving past them at 80 mph and not moving over to give them room.

Individual Responsibility

I know, “individual responsibility” it’s not a sexy phrase.  But, car crashes are not too sexy either.  The often permanent consequences of serious injuries resulting from car collisions is serious business.  Reassembling your life after a serious car crash injury is overwhelming.  Each of us must take personal responsibility to operate our vehicles safely.  There are rules to the road that we all agree to when we get a driver’s license and agree to use the public roadways. We “Share” the roads which means we all agree to follow the rules of the road for our individual benefit. When someone violates those rules by negligently engaging in distracted driving and resulting in a crash, there has to be accountability.  You and I cannot be responsible for our neighbors or our community members but we can be responsible for own actions.  When we ensure that we are paying attention, driving sober and refraining from distracted driving, we contribute to the overall safety on our roadways.