As a Kansas City crash lawyer, Attorney Doug Horn has seen a sizeable change in his law practice over the last several years. “Since 2009 our law firm is handling a lot more crash cases involving texting while driving. There is no doubt that drivers are facing new dangers on the road”. Horn said. While texting teen drivers make up a considerable number of distracted drivers, Horn added that adult drivers are becoming the largest segment of distracted drivers as they are using their smart phones to keep up with busy work, personal, and family communications.
Horn has characterized the distracted driving epidemic as a “new universe of roadway risk” and he feels the problem may get worse. “With the proliferation of the cell phone, and the fact that cell phone use behind the wheel is both habit forming and addictive, this has become a public health crisis”.
As it relates to his law practice, Horn says that distracted driving accidents are causing more serious injuries. Because a distracted driver is not paying attention to the road, the collisions are more severe, causing a greater probability of serious injury, especially to the head and neck.
Attorney Doug Horn offered his support of a bill designed to strengthen Missouri’s distracted driving law this past Wednesday in Jefferson City. Speaking to a Missouri Senate committee, Horn presented his case for a law which would prohibit all drivers from texting while driving.
Currently, Missouri law only prohibits drivers 21 and younger from texting and driving. Drivers over 22 years old are able to text and drive.
“Our present distracted driving law makes no sense, especially when you consider that adults represent the largest segment of distracted drivers”, Horn said. At the time Missouri’s present distracted driving law went into effect, texting while driving was viewed primarily as a teen driver issue. Horn told lawmakers that distracted driving is now prevalent among adults. He said studies have shown that over 30% of adult drivers in Missouri admit to using their cell phone while driving to talk, text, email, surf the web, access apps, and a host of other smart phone functions.
Horn, who concentrates in motor vehicle accident law and crash litigation, has seen his caseload change over the last 10 years. “Not only are we handling more car accident cases caused by a distracted driver, but those cases involve collisions which are much more violent, resulting in more serious injuries”.
Horn also mentioned that recent statistics support his view that Missouri motorists are facing a new universe of risk on the road. In 2015, Missouri traffic fatalities rose by 11%. Horn attributes part of this increase to drivers using cell phones.
With his “Drive By Example” driving safety program in place, Attorney Doug Horn is preparing to make a bigger impact in protecting teen drivers. Since 2009, Horn has been dedicating a substantial amount of his time and resources to keeping driver safety high on the public consciousness. Now, Horn is focusing more of his attention on teen drivers in an effort to substantially reduce the types of crashes that cause serious injury and roadway fatalities.
“From a public safety perspective, I believe it is vital that we implement sustained driving safety campaigns in our high schools. Using the “Drive By Example” platform in the high school, we can make a big difference in protecting teenagers”, Horn said.
Horn’s mission is to influence students to adopt the safe driving habits and behaviors that protect themselves, their passengers, and others on the road. The core message connected with “Drive By Example” is to drive alert, buckled, and cautious. “All drivers have a duty to exercise the highest degree of care while driving. We teach teen drivers the strategies they can use to stay safe on the road”.
Because Horn’s law firm underwrites the cost to implement “Drive By Example” in area schools, the program is affordable and easy to integrate across entire school systems. High school administrators or other officials who are interested in “Drive By Example” can visit drivebyexample.com for more information.
The Million Dollar Advocates Forum is pleased to announce that Attorney Douglas Ronald Horn has been certified as a member of the Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum.
Mr. Horn is presently a Life Member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum, one of the most prestigious groups of trial lawyers in the United States. Membership in the Forum is limited to attorneys that have won multi-million dollar verdicts, awards, and settlements. Fewer than 1% of U.S. lawyers are members.
Horn, who founded The Horn Law Firm in 1990, has over 25 years of experience in plaintiff’s personal injury law. His area of concentration is representing persons who have been seriously injured or killed in motor vehicle crashes, work-related accidents, and other catastrophic events. He represents clients in Missouri, Kansas, and throughout the Midwest.
In addition to his law practice, Horn devotes a significant amount of his work to advancing driver safety, particularly in the areas of distracted driving prevention and teen driver protection. In 2011, he founded Drive By Example, a public service organization dedicated to addressing America’s top driving safety priorities.
For years now, promoters of hands-free technology have claimed that these technologies are much safer than the use of hand-held cell phones for texting or having a conversation while driving. However, a new study debunks the theory. According to the study, persons using a hands-free set continue to make higher numbers of driving errors, and these errors increase their risk of being injured or killed in an accident.
The study was conducted by researchers, who registered 26 participants to take part in a driver simulation program. The participants undertook the simulation program first without any distractions, and another time again when they were using a hands-free set to have a conversation. There was nothing in the conversation that should have increased excitement, and it was a simple conversation on a neutral topic.
The researchers measured the brain activity of the participants while they were put through their paces on the imulator both without distraction, and with distraction from the handset.
They found that there was an increase in brain activity as well as an increase in neuronal activation, while the person was talking on a hands-free set. In fact, the researchers found that because the neurons were in an activated state, the amount of blood that flows to the brain was inevitably reduced.
They also found that while motorists were using the hand sets, they were prone to making a string of driving errors. Some of the most serious driving errors included driving at high speeds, changing lanes abruptly and without warning, and making improper lane changes.
As Missouri car accident lawyers, we handle auto accidents caused by cell phone use as “aggravated liability cases”. Aggravated liability means the conduct of the driver at fault is beyond general negligence. The reason why distracted driving cases should be handed this way is because drivers should know that using a cell phone while driving involves a significant risk of harm.