Motor vehicle crashes involving cellphones and other causes of distracted driving have increased by 35% in Missouri since 2014. Last year, 79 people were killed in crashes involving one or more distracted drivers, according to the Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT).

The agency shared those alarming statistics during the third annual Buckle Up Phone Down Day on Oct. 29 during a discussion hosted by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) titled, “Missouri Roundtable on Distracted Driving: Act to End Deadly Distraction.”

Distracted driving facts and stats

The Missouri Coalition for Roadway Safety lists these disturbing statistics on its website:

  • Texting drivers take their eyes off the road for an average of 4.6 seconds, traveling further than the length of a football field at 50 mph
  • Half of all teenage drivers say they text while driving
  • 14% of all crashes from 2015 to 2017 involved some form of distracted driving
  • Drivers 21 or younger face a fine of $100 if they are caught using cellphones or other personal electronic devices

NTSB advocates banning cellphones while driving

While Missouri adopted a ban in 2013 on texting for drivers under the age of 21, it does not apply to older drivers. The NTSB recommends banning all personal electronic devices that play no role in operating a vehicle and apply the law to all ages.

Some members of the panel say Missouri has been slow to respond to the threat of distracted driving and urged citizens to contact lawmakers. Others encouraged using free apps on your phone, which notify people attempting to reach you that you are driving.

Distracted drivers cause massive physical and financial effects

Nearly 2,600 cellphone-related crashes occurred in each of the last two years, causing hundreds of injuries, some resulting in permanent or long-lasting physical and financial consequences. If you have been injured, an experienced and aggressive personal injury attorney here in Missouri will protect your interests and work to get you the compensation you deserve.