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Texting While Driving

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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 & Kurth are available to discuss your case and right to compensation. Contact us for 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 attention:

  • 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 & Kurth 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.

  • Medical Malpractice $4,000,000
  • Personal Injury $2,500,000
  • Trucking Accident $2,000,000
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  • Medical Malpractice $1,700,000

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