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Dangers of Texting and Driving
According to the Centers for Disease Control, there was an average of 3,260 deaths and 411,667 injuries attributed to distracted driving over a recent six-year period. The term “distracted driving” used by the CDC can cover a wide range of activities behind the wheel like eating, drinking, applying makeup, or anything else in which a person is not paying attention to the road — but none are more deadly than texting and driving.
The reason for this is that it combines all three categories of distraction:
- Manual – taking one or both hands off the wheel
- Visual – taking eyes off the road
- Cognitive – taking mind off of driving
Put simply, when someone views a text message for even five seconds, their hands are not on the wheel, their eyes are not on the road, and their mind is distracted long enough to cover the length of an entire football field. This is much too long to be thinking about anything other than driving. Overall, texting and driving increases the risk of crash or near-crash by 23 times. If you were the victim of a car accident in which someone made the decision to view a text and, therefore, put your life at risk, you may be entitled to file a claim to cover your medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more. Contact a distracted driving lawyer in St. Louis, MO, to get started on a claim.
Texting and Driving Laws in Missouri
Missouri remains one of only a few states without a complete ban on texting and driving. Even so, the laws only apply to specific groups and are comparatively lax.
- Commercial drivers are prohibited from operating their commercial vehicle while using a cellphone for phone calls or to send, read, or write an electronic message.
- Drivers who are 21 years old or younger are prohibited from operating their motor vehicle while sending, reading, or writing an electronic message on their cell phone.
Young drivers are still allowed to talk on their phones while driving though, which can create a precarious situation for people of all ages. For example, with teens being less experienced drivers due to their lack of years on the road, adding phone distractions into the mix can be a deadly combination. In 2018 alone, 8 percent of fatal car crashes that involved a young person aged 15 to 19 years old were caused by the teen being distracted at the time of the crash.
In these cases — as well as any incident in which a driver of any age chooses to text and drive — the laws in Missouri did not stop them from still picking up their phone. And just because law enforcement cannot legally fine someone for texting and driving doesn’t mean that they shouldn’t have to pay.
If you were harmed because someone else chose to use their phone behind the wheel, you deserve justice. You deserve a lawyer who cares. You deserve The Hayden Law Firm. Do not delay in reaching out to a texting and driving lawyer; there is a five-year statute of limitations in Missouri to sue a negligent party after a truck accident, motorcycle accident, or car accident.