Texting While Driving & Auto Accidents
St. Louis Car Accident Attorneys
Distracted driving has become a problem of epidemic proportions, causing nearly 3,500 deaths
a year according to the National Highway Traffic Safety (NHTSA) administration.
At a time when deaths on U.S. roads and highways have reached their highest
levels in years, and are continuing to rise, experts and government regulators
have pointed to distraction as a primary culprit. Specifically, they state
much of the problem with driver distraction stems from texting and smart
phone use behind the wheel.
Because the dangers of using a smart phone to read, compose, and send text
messages – as well as access e-mail, browse the internet, or use
other applications – is a primary factor in thousands of preventable
car accidents, injuries, and deaths each year, it has become a focus for state and local
governments and law enforcement who back increasingly strict legislation
to prohibit the practice. It is also an extremely negligent and careless
act cited in numerous personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits filed
by victims and families who suffer harm in distracted driving wrecks.
If you or a loved one have been harmed by a driver who was texting at the
time of a collision, our St. Louis car accident lawyers at Meyerkord &
Meyerkord, LLC are available to discuss your case and right to compensation. Contact usfor a FREE case review.
The Risks of Text Messaging While Driving
Numerous studies have confirmed that text messaging can substantially increase
risks of preventable auto accidents. That’s due largely to the fact
that using a cell phone is one of the most dangerous forms of risky multi-tasking
a driver can engage in, and one that commands multiple areas of their
Visual Attention – Using a cell phone behind the wheel to text or do nearly any other
task will often require a driver’s visual attention, even if they
use hands-free technology to facilitate the task. This means drivers will
take their eyes of the road to access their phones, read, and compose
text messages. As one study from Virginia Tech shows, texting takes an
average driver’s attention away from the road for anywhere between
5 to 10 seconds. At 55 mph, this is equivalent to driving the entire length
of a football field blindfolded!
Manual Attention – Drivers who use their cell phones frequently do so with their
hands. They must unlock their devices, access various apps or texting
features, navigate messages or other applications, and compose any messages
they send. By taking even just one hand off the road, drivers are more
likely to crash and have less time to react to collision critical situations.
Cognitive Attention – In addition to commanding a driver’s manual and visual attention,
reading, composing, and sending texts also require a driver’s mental
focus. This can take their attention away from the road, as well as potential
dangers or nearby vehicles and pedestrians, and increase the likelihood
of a crash.
Distracted Driving Laws in Missouri
With greater awareness about the dangers posed by distracted driving, states
across the country have passed new and increasingly tougher laws to prevent
it. Missouri, however, is notoriously one of the few states to not have
robust legislation that prohibits texting while driving or cell phone
for motorists. Under current law, Missouri only bans text messaging behind
the wheel for drivers under the age of 21.
While legislators have continually tried to pass tougher distracted driving
laws to bring Missouri up to par with the majority of states across the
country, the fact remains that most motorists can use their cell phones
and text behind the wheel with little to no consequence – at least
in terms of traffic infractions. Because using a phone and texting is
still a negligent act, even if not explicitly illegal under Missouri law,
distracted drivers can still be held accountable for causing preventable
accidents and injuries to victims, and liable for damages that may include:
- Medical expenses and future medical needs
- Lost income and decreased earning potential
- Physical pain and suffering
- Mental anguish and emotional injuries
Wrongful death and the emotional losses of families
Protect Your Right to Compensation with a Proven Personal Injury Law Firm
Meyerkord & Meyerkord, LLC is a homegrown firm with a regional footprint,
and a practice that focuses exclusively on personal injury law. Over the
years, we have helped thousands of victims and families protect their
rights following injuries and accidents that could and should have been
prevented – including all types of auto accidents caused by distracted
and texting drivers.
If you would like more information about pursuing a personal injury claim
with the help of our award-winning attorneys, do not hesitate to
contact us for a free consultation. We proudly serve victims and families throughout
St. Louis, Missouri, and beyond.