The month of April has been declared as National Distracted Driving Month, and throughout the month, motorists will face increased crackdowns, and harsher penalties as states around the country, including Missouri, make efforts to reduce the number of distracted driving accidents. As a member of the Governor’s Highway Safety Association, I have been very active in efforts to contain the distracted driving menace, especially cell phone use and texting while driving in Missouri.
I see it every day as I drive on my way to my office – people texting or talking on their cell phones while driving. These people are at a much higher risk of accidents, and it’s not as if they are unaware of it. Thanks to greater use of awareness campaigns, most drivers in Missouri are aware that such distracted driving could be lethal. However, the temptation to always stay in touch, especially for young drivers, simply takes over.
These drivers have added to the toll from distracted driving accidents, which according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, is more than 6,000 deaths a year. Missouri has a texting while driving ban in place for motorists below the age of 21, and a new bill that will ban the practice altogether for all drivers, is still in the works.
Texting while driving represents a “new universe of risk” I, along with other Kansas City car accident lawyers, believe this is more dangerous than drunk driving. That’s because texting ordinarily requires you to take your eyes off the road for an extended period of time. Moreover, while intoxicated driving is looked down upon, being constantly in touch via your cell phone even while driving, is seen as a sign of dedication to your job. The National Distracted Driving Month is a step in the right direction as public awareness is a solution. For more information about my efforts to advance highway safety, visit www.highwaysafetyattorney.com.