The Johnson Law Firm, LLC

Texting and driving still not fully banned in Missouri

Missouri drivers must be aware of the array of dangers on the road. That includes poor weather and drivers who are under the influence, reckless, and distracted. The risks of encountering motorists who are not adhering to the rules of the road are well-known. Oftentimes, legislators and law enforcement take steps to try to reduce the risk of accidents by enacting and enforcing laws. These laws can be important when pursuing a personal injury lawsuit and seeking compensation for medical costs, lost wages, and pain and suffering. However, with regard to distracted driving it is important to note that it is not even completely illegal in the state.

There are three states in the nation that have yet to implement a full ban on texting and driving, and Missouri is one of them. Lawmakers are weighing a proposal in the general assembly that will take steps to reduce the practice and impose penalties on violators. As of now, drivers 21 and younger are banned from texting and driving. Combined with the difficulties inherent in enforcement, preventing drivers from texting and driving is a complicated task. In Kansas City, there were no citations given out at all in 2018 for violating this law. In the state overall there were 63 in 2017, 76 in 2016, and 57 in 2015.

Many people who have been injured or lost a loved one in an accident caused by distracted driving believe that a full ban would significantly improve safety. Although it is difficult to calculate the link between a ban on texting and driving and road safety, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's statistics indicate that the safer states in the U.S. have some of the toughest laws against distracted driving. If the new law is passed, those who are cited for texting and driving will be fined $50. It is $100 for a violation that occurs in a school zone.

With state laws relatively lax for distracted drivers, it is imperative for drivers who suffer injuries in a car accident to realize that distracted driving, such as texting and driving, could have played a role. Even if the proposed law is put into effect, drivers will continue to flout it and use their devices. This can cause injuries and death to other drivers, pedestrians, motorcyclists, and bicyclists. Considering the list of problems that accompany a distracted driving crash, those who are involved in these motor vehicle accidents should consider their rights and contact a law firm experienced in distracted driving crashes for help with a lawsuit.

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