The state of Missouri is in the minority when it comes to a ban on texting and driving. In fact, it is one of only six states that have not put some type of law in place. Many lawmakers and people on the road wonder if this lack of action has led to an increase in distracted driving accidents in the state and if lawmakers need to take action to crack down harder on this problem that is only growing throughout the nation.
Current Distracted Driving Laws in Missouri
While the state of Missouri doesn’t have a comprehensive distracted driving law for all drivers, they have enacted legislation that applies to teen drivers and drivers of commercial vehicles with passengers. These laws are as follows:
- It is illegal for drivers 21 years old or younger to text and drive.
- A recent law, HB 293 has restricted commercial drivers that carry passengers from talking on hand held phones while behind the wheel, and from reading, typing or sending messages.
Unfortunately, for the rest of the population, there is no type of regulation regarding what they do behind the wheel, which is what some believe has led to the increase in distracted driving accidents in the state.
Facts and Statistics about Distracted Driving
Consider some of the statistics related to distracted driving, which illustrate the problem in the state of Missouri:
- Up to 20% of all accidents involve some type of distraction.
- $100 or more is the fine for getting caught texting and driving if you are under the age of 21.
- If you text, you are taking your eyes off the road for an average of 4.6 seconds.
- 50% of all teen drivers stated they have texted or actively text while behind the wheel.
While the law related to teen drivers is necessary, with approximately six out of every 10 moderate to severe crashes involving teenagers are caused by distracted driving, it is necessary to address the other people on the road, as well. After all, a large percentage of adults, over the age of 21, have also admitted to texting and driving or being distracted by other factors.
Is it Time for New Legislation?
Due to the factors listed above, there are many in the state of Missouri, who believe it is time to enact tougher texting and driving and distracted driving laws. Unfortunately, this feat is more difficult that it seems and something that has still not come to fruition.
If you are involved in an accident that was caused by a distracted driver, you should hire a personal injury attorney for assistance. They can help gather the necessary evidence for the case and ensure you have the information necessary to get the compensation you deserve for the injuries you suffered.