So far in 2015 there has been a 14 percent increase in traffic-related fatalities. This is the deadliest traffic year since 2007, which is cause for concern. In 2015 there were more than 18,600 motor-vehicle deaths from January to June – compared to a total of 16,400 deaths in the first six months of 2014. The cost of these accident-related deaths and property damage is estimated at $152 billion – which is up by 24 percent from 2014.
What is Causing the Increase in Traffic Deaths?
Unfortunately the increase in the accident fatalities for 2015 is primarily distracted driving. Because drivers are easily distracted on the roads – whether by a smartphone, tablet, or even by their vehicle’s GPS system – they are no longer watching the road ahead. This distraction has led to more accidents and obviously more deaths than years prior. According to the NSC, American drivers are addicted to their devices and they would rather sacrifice their own safety than put their devices down long enough to drive.
What About the Law?
It is illegal to text and drive in most states, but regardless of these laws and harsh penalties, drivers still prefer to risk engaging in these dangerous behaviors. The biggest culprit is texting, and despite laws, individuals are still texting while driving – and it is not just teenagers. In the state of Missouri, there is no prohibition for handheld cellphone use; meaning drivers can legally talk on their cellphones while driving. Only novice drivers, which are those under the age of 21, cannot text and drive. So, that means drivers over the age of 21 can still text and drive and not be breaking the law. Missouri is one of the few states that allows texting and driving and has vigorously held out on changing the law.
What if You Are Injured by a Distracted Driver?
If you are injured by a distracted driver in the state of Missouri, you still have the legal right to seek compensation for your injuries. A driver acting recklessly – regardless of whether it is against the law – can be held liable for an accident in civil court. You will need to enlist the assistance of an attorney who specializes in distracted driving cases to help prove that the driver was in fact distracted while operating the vehicle.
Contact Attorney Douglas R. Horn
If you or a loved one was injured in an accident with a distracted driver, you are entitled to compensation under Missouri laws. Contact attorney Douglas R. Horn today to schedule a consultation regarding your distracted driving case. Get started by scheduling a no obligation case evaluation online via our online contact form.