Distracted driving has been a major concern for legislatures in Missouri and across the nation during the past decade. This came about largely due to the accident rate involving cellphone usage. Of particular note is the number of fatal accidents that included evidence of phone usage at the time of the collision.
Statistics related to cellphone usage
Even with more laws against cellphone usage behind the wheel in place, distractions are a major contributor in nearly 10% of all fatal crashes. This does not even include the number of associated personal injury claims. Of non-fatal accidents, nearly 15% were directly attributed to cellphone usage in general, including talking while driving.
Specifics of state cellphone law
The Missouri code governing cellphone usage restricts anyone under 21 from even talking on a cellphone while driving, including hands-free phones. Those who are over 21 are not held to this restriction. There are also allowances made for calling emergency responders when there has been an accident or someone witnesses criminal activity. Commercial drivers can also interact with dispatchers, both only through hands-free devices. The total restriction is for messaging of any sort, including texts, interacting with websites and any other form of online messaging. Using this law, Missouri personal injury law firms may use cellphone evidence when comparative negligence is an issue for an injured driver in an accident.
Distracted driving has actually been a problem for many years. Even drinking or eating while driving can be very dangerous, especially in congested rush-hour traffic. It is always a good personal policy for drivers to pay close attention to the road when traveling at high speeds or navigating close traffic, and everyone should avoid use of a cellphone while in transit.