The U.S. is down to just three states that permit people to text while driving. You guessed it: Missouri is one of the states, along with Montana and Arizona. It should be noted that Missouri does restrict drivers age 21 and under from texting while behind the wheel.

The dangers of distracted driving are well documented, of course. By now, everyone should understand that using electronics while driving dramatically increases the risks of causing a motor vehicle crash, injuries and fatalities.

MoDOT spokesperson John Nelson said that distracted driving is a lot like drunk driving: “Your mind is not there to have good judgment and make good decisions or react in time.”

MoDOT says distracted driving-related crashes have risen 35 percent since 2014.

“A lot of people think distracted driving is a teenager problem or a young people problem,” said Nelson. “But when we look at the crash data that has been increasing since 2014, 70 percent of those crashes are drivers that are 22 years and older.”

Missouri state Senator Wayne Wallingford is proposing a texting-while-driving ban for a very simple reason. “You can’t make decisions as easily if you’re concentrating on something else, your reaction time is going to be slower,” Wallingford told a Missouri TV station. “I think the safety of this bill to save lives is self-evident.”

If enacted, his bill would ban texting and driving across all ages and at all times – even if you’re sitting at a red light. Though Wallingford said that those drivers who pull off to the side of the road and stop would be allowed to text. Handsfree devices would also be acceptable under the new law.

Let’s see if legislators respond positively to this latest attempt to slow the rise in distracted driving.

Those who have been injured in a distracted driving car accident can pursue maximum compensation for all damages with the help of an attorney experienced in personal injury litigation.