Missouri one of six states holding out on texting and driving ban

This year it appears that Missouri lawmakers will not move forward a bill seeking to extend the ban on texting to all adult drivers, according to CBS St. Louis. The lack of action on the part of the state has not gone unnoticed, attracting derogatory comments from some. An opinion piece in the Joplin Globe points out that while the state was willing to ban texting for drivers under 21, after a 19-year-old caused an auto accident while sending text messages, state lawmakers are balking at requiring everyone else to put their phone down while driving.

Texting more dangerous than drunk driving

According to the State University of New York, texting is a more dangerous behavior than driving while intoxicated. They cite this fact from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the NHTSA offers even more startling facts related to texting and driving.

  • The likelihood of getting into accident with an injury is 4 times higher with a mobile device.
  • Texting increases accident risk by 23 times.
  • The effect of looking down at a text message while driving 55 mph is the equivalency of driving the length of a football field blind.
  • On average, over 3,000 people are killed every year in distracted driving accidents.
  • Using a cell phone while driving reduces brain activity associated with driving by 37 percent.
  • Ninety percent of drivers support laws banning text messaging while driving.

Furthermore, 47 percent of adults say that they use their phone to send texts while driving their car. If one were to drive around Jackson County, that person would likely see more than a couple of adults sending texts on their phone in their car.

Public initiatives

Despite the fact that lawmakers are reluctant to pass a state-wide ban on all drivers, there has been some progress. The Missouri Highway Patrol is trying to bring more awareness to drivers of the dangers associated with distracted driving, including texting, according to The Kansas City Star. The agency reports that over 1,600 accidents were caused by people using their cell phones while driving in Missouri during 2012. It can be assumed that several of those accidents resulted in serious injury to victims.

While some cities have initiated their own bans on texting, there is some concern over the fact that the current law banning underage drivers from texting and driving is not being enforced. In 2012, only 70 tickets were issued for texting and driving according to CBS St. Louis. It is unknown how many of those drivers were convicted.

When drivers act with negligence towards others around them, the results can be disastrous for others. People who are seriously injured in a car accident often face a number of challenges including medical bills, loss of income, and may even find themselves in financial distress. If you have been the victim of a negligent driver, consult an experienced personal injury lawyer to better understand your right to recovery.