I represent a number of clients who have been the victim of a distracted driver – someone who has been using his or her cell phone moments before causing a violent collision. The question I have is:
Is using your cell phone to text, scroll through social media, navigate, select music, check email, etc reckless driving?
First, lets define recklessness. If a person is reckless it means that the person knew, or should have known, that their conduct was likely to cause harm.
From handling hundreds of distracted driving cases over the last 10 years, I know that often passengers and drivers think differently about recklessness as it pertains to picking up a cell phone when behind the wheel. Passengers, because they feel very vulnerable when the driver takes his or her eyes off the road, almost always feel like the driver is being reckless in not paying attention to the road.
Drivers, on the other hand, don=t feel the same. While drivers know that using the cell phone CAN result in a collision, most feel that they are able to successfully multi-task when driving.
In addition to the perspective of the passenger and driver, we also should consider the perspective of other drivers. Because of what I do for a living, I generally fear drivers who I can see are fiddling with their cell phone. I believe my fears are justified because, like a passenger, I feel I am vulnerable if other drivers can=t react to other traffic.
Given all of this, taking into account the different perspectives, I am interested in what you think about whether or not cell phone use while driving rises to the level of recklessness. Thank you. Doug Horn
P.S. One reason I am interested in getting opinions is that I am currently fighting for a law in Missouri that makes texting and driving illegal. In 47 other states it is illegal to text and drive. However, in Missouri, if you are 22 or older, you can legally text and drive. I believe our lawmakers need to know where the public stands on this important issue.
If you would like to join my cause, I would invite you to sign my online Petition which urges the lawmakers to pass a law making texting while driving illegal. One reason I think we need a law is because it has proven successful in reducing distracted driving crashes in other states. The Petition is at www.AllDriverTextingBanforMo.com.