By now, most of us are familiar with the dangers of distracted driving. Many states are trying to develop new methods to reduce the number of accidents caused by drivers that take their eyes off of the road. While many states have rules that restrict all drivers from texting or using a cellphone while driving, Missouri does not have these laws in place.
Currently, Missouri distracted driving laws are focused on the driving behavior of novice drivers, defined as those 21 and under. These motorists are restricted from texting while driving, but there are no other distracted driving rules. Often, legislators propose more aggressive laws that would apply to all drivers, but these laws fail to gain the support necessary to become law.
The Missouri State Highway Patrol stated that “inattention” was a factor in motor vehicle accidents that caused more than 1,500 individuals to be injured, and also resulted in over 200 deaths. These numbers may even be on the low side, as many accident investigations do not uncover evidence of distracted driving.
Most people may think of distracted driving as making a call while driving or texting while behind the wheel. However, a new type of distracted driving is starting to show up more frequently. With the more widespread use of smart phones, more individuals are reporting that they surf the web while driving. This so-called “webbing” has increased dramatically among younger drivers aged 18 to 29, according to a survey by State Farm Insurance. In 2009, 29 percent of drivers in that age group admitted to webbing while driving. In 2012, that number rose to 48 percent.
More distracted drivers means that more motorists might be at risk of getting into a car or truck accident caused by someone who is not paying attention to the road. Many federal agencies have been committed to reducing the number of distracted drivers, conducting advertising campaigns that show the dangers that may arise. Some agencies have even passed rules that restrict drivers of commercial vehicles from texting or using a cellphone while driving.
If you have been injured in a car or truck accident, speak to an experienced personal injury attorney in your area to learn more about the options that may be available to you. Insurance companies may attempt to convince you to settle your case for less than it is worth. Some injuries may be severe enough that they will require life-long treatment, and it is important that those who caused the injuries are held responsible.