Attorney Douglas R. Horn, who founded The Horn Law Firm, P.C., is ramping up efforts to make Missouri roads safer.
Horn, a Kansas City crash lawyer and long-time driver safety advocate is dedicating a good part of his work in 2020 to driver safety advancement, particularly in the areas of teen driver protection and distracted driving prevention. Read below for more information.
Teen Driver Protection
Last year Horn published “10 Important Tips for Parents of Teen Drivers” in a brochure format. In 2020, Horn will expand his teen driver protection work by putting together a Teen Driver Protection guidebook. The Guidebook is designed to equip parents with information that will allow them to better protect their teen drivers.
“With the elimination of mandatory driver’s education for new drivers in Missouri, the burden for teaching kids to drive safely falls directly on the parents. I believe parents will find that this booklet provides a clear, concise method for instilling a safe driving approach,” Horn said.
In addition to tips for teaching new drivers how to drive safely, the booklet will also contain a summary of Missouri’s Graduated Driver License Law (the law that governs new drivers). Horn indicated that many parents are not familiar with the Missouri GDL even though it has been around for many years. The Missouri GDL law, which is designed to help protect teen drivers, imposes special restrictions during the first several years of driving.
The guidebook, which is expected to be online as an e-book in late April, will also encourage parents to execute a teen driving agreement with their children. Horn explained the purpose of the agreement is to “impress upon new drivers that driving is a privilege and, as long as teen drivers reside in the parent’s home, they will be expected to abide by the household driving rules and expectations.”
Distracted Driving Prevention
As an attorney who concentrates in representing people seriously injured in motor vehicle accidents, Horn sees first-hand the devastating consequences caused by distracted driving. In Horn’s experience, many distracted driving collisions are violent crashes that often result in serious injury or death. Because thee are so many distracted drivers on the road, Horn and other safety advocates believe that distracted driving is more deadly than driving drunk.
While there are many reasons why drivers become distracted and take their eyes off the road, manipulating cell phone buttons is the leading cause of the monumental increase in the number of distracted drivers. Because the overwhelming number of drivers are now armed with a cell phone, all motorists face a new universe of risk on the road.
While 4 states have outlawed texting while driving, Missouri is one of only 2 states that does not ban texting and driving for all drivers. In fact, Missouri drivers who are 22 years old, can text, email, browse the internet, post, watch YouTube, and a host of other cell phone functions.
Meanwhile, Missouri traffic fatalities continue to increase and Horn feels the problem is only going to get worse unless we act now. “I think it is time Missouri lawmakers realize that distracted driving is epidemic and our state authorities need to set the tone for driving culture change,” Horn said.
While Horn admits any type of new legislation aimed at curbing distracted driving will have to be debated, he indicated that many states have already passed laws that only allow a driver to use a cell phone when using a “hands-free” set up.
At the time of this blog, Horn knows of 4 different pieces of 2020 legislation that relate to fixing the texting while driving law. To bolster action before the lawmakers adjourn for the summer, Horn plans to directly lobby lawmakers and educate the public through PEAs (Public Education Ads) on social media to outlaw driving while using a cell phone.
About Doug Horn
Horn has been in the private practice of law since 1990. Since then, he has increasingly concentrated on motor vehicle accident law and crash litigation. During the course of his legal career, which includes investigating and presenting evidence in over 2500 motor vehicle accidents, Horn has gained an elevated insight into the driving behaviors that cause vehicular collisions.
Beginning in 2009, Horn has used his legal experience to devote a significant amount of his work and resources to the advancement of driver safety, particularly in the areas of teen driver protection, distracted driving prevention, and traffic fatality reduction.
To promote driving culture change, Horn developed “Drive By Example,” a driving safety platform that allows a variety of traffic safety stakeholders, including schools, law enforcement, and businesses to implement comprehensive programs that influences drivers to adopt safe driving habit and behaviors that protect themselves, their passengers, and others on the road.
As a frequent contributor to media, including TV, radio, print, and online outlets, Horn assists reporters and media personnel in the following traffic safety areas:
- Teen Driver Safety/Protection
- Distracted Driving Epidemic/Prevention
- Traffic Fatality Reduction
- Traffic Safety Technologies
- Motorcycle Safety/Accident Prevention
- Missouri Driver Safety Laws/Legislation