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.