What Missouri Drivers Need to Know About Distracted Driving
You may think that sending a quick text message, making a phone call or scrolling through social media is safe to do behind the wheel, if only just for a few seconds. For many, using a cellphone is a habit, and has become a normal, if not major, part of our daily routine, even in the car. Yet, driving requires undivided attention, and taking your eyes off the road, even for a split second, can have serious and potentially fatal consequences that can never be reversed.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Association (NHTSA) approximately 300,000 people are injured and 3,000 die each year due to distracted driving in the U.S. Distracted driving is a serious issue in our state as 4,816 injuries and 80 fatalities were attributed to distracted driving in 2018 alone.
These statistics are startling, and demonstrate the serious and irreversible consequences of choosing to drive distracted. These deaths could have been prevented, and due to someone’s choice to take their eyes off the road, friends and family members will never see their loved ones again.
Let’s take a closer look at some more alarming statistics you need to know.
Alarming Distracted Driving Facts
- Taking your eyes off the road for 5 seconds at 55 mph is equal to driving the length of a football field with your eyes closed.
- Approximately 9 people are killed every day due to distracted driving.
- Texting & driving increases the risk of a crash 23x.
- Using a cellphone while driving increases the risk of a crash 6x.
What Are the Main Causes of Distracted Driving?
One of the most common causes of distracted driving is cellphone use, which ranges from talking on a cellphone, texting, checking emails, adjusting a GPS and more. But cellphones are not the only cause.
Did you know talking to passengers can be distracting, even staring outside and getting lost in thought can make it difficult to focus. Other causes include eating and drinking, putting on makeup, adjusting controls and reaching for objects, all simple actions that we may do every day, without even realizing doing so could cause an accident.
How Can You Avoid Distracted Driving?
- Keep your phone in your purse or the glove compartment
- Set up your GPS and music before you start driving
- Always keep your eyes on the road, even when talking to passengers
- Call friends and family members out when they are driving distracted
- If you need to use your phone, safely pull over
Can You Be Fined for Driving Distracted in Missouri?
Under Missouri law, drivers under the age of 21 cannot text and drive. Those who are caught could receive up to a $200 fine and two points could be added to their driving record.
Although there currently is no ban for those 21-years-old and older, all drivers, regardless of age, should avoid distracted driving. Being informed about the true risks associated with distracted driving, being more aware of your actions and following tips to avoid distracted driving could save a life.
Think of Driving as a Time to Focus and Disconnect
The next time you get behind the wheel, know that driving can be very dangerous, and requires your full attention. Unfortunately, no one is invincible, and safety is extremely important. You can send your text or check social media once you get to your destination. No text is worth a life.
With technology being such a big part of our lives, thinking of driving as a time to disconnect and just focus on the task at hand can increase your safety, and give you a sense of freedom. You will be a better driver for doing so, and can help set a good example for friends and family members.
Your Kansas City Lawyers Are Here to Help
If you or someone you love have been seriously injured in a car accident caused by a distracted driver, call the Kansas City Car Accident Lawyers at the Goss Law Firm at 816-888-5000 to speak about your situation for free.
When you call, an experienced lawyer will listen to your story, answer any questions you may have and provide legal advice to help you during this difficult time. There is never a fee for the initial consultation. Our compassionate team is dedicated to protecting your rights and helping you move forward with your life. Give us a call today.
The Goss Law Firm — Your Kansas City Personal Injury Attorneys