The Johnson Law Firm, LLC

Texting and driving bans reduced hospitalizations in many states

Distracted driving is one of the biggest risks on the road today. This is true in Missouri and across the entire nation. While many states have taken steps to make texting and driving illegal and penalize drivers who are caught in the act, Missouri is one of three states with either a partial or no ban on the practice. When considering that, it is important to understand the scope of the problem. Those who have been injured or lost a loved one in a car crash will often consider the possibility that it was due to a distracted driver. This is how severe the issue has become.

A recent report from the American Journal of Public Health says that states with a ban on texting and driving had 4 percent fewer emergency room visits than states that do not. The researchers used information from 16 states and their accident statistics from 2007 to 2014. The 4 percent improvement in states where there was regulation on the practice came to an average of 1,632 hospital visits after accidents that were avoided due to the ban.

Regarding the laws against texting and driving, 47 states have banned it on a partial or full basis. Some categorize it as a primary offense meaning law enforcement can stop a vehicle simply because a driver was texting. With a secondary offense, the driver needs to have committed another violation for there to be a stop for texting. For states that have the violation as a primary offense, there was an 8 percent reduction in hospitalizations after an accident.

In Missouri, drivers under 21 cannot text or talk while behind the wheel. For everyone else, there is no ban. Drivers are prone to using their devices behind the wheel and even when there is a ban, they still do it. When there is a motor vehicle accident, people can be injured and lose their lives. With the medical costs, lost wages and long-term impact of a crash, it is important that motor vehicle accident victims recover sufficient compensation for the damages they suffered.

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