What started out as a “teen driver texting while driving” issue in 2009, has now become a “distracted driving” epidemic. As a result, traffic fatalities in Kansas City, Missouri, and across the nation, are increasing at rates no one expected. “What we have is a new universe of roadway risk”, says Attorney Doug Horn, a Kansas City distracted driving accident lawyer who regularly represents persons seriously injured or killed by negligent drivers.
Horn, who has handled thousands of motor vehicle accident cases over the course of his 25 year legal career, says that the risk of being involved in a Kansas City distracted driving accident is growing more significant every day. Horn says, “Beyond texting, a large majority of drivers are now regularly using their phones to navigate, access social media, email, news, videos, and a host of other computer-like functions. These types of cell phone activities have definitely heightened the risk of being involved in a violent crash. A major reason why Missouri traffic fatalities are getting outside of our of control is distracted driving.”
While traffic safety experts are very concerned about rising traffic deaths, not all of them are convinced that cell phone use is responsible for the growing number of motorists who are killed on the roadway. Because cell phone use is usually undetectable in accident investigations, Horn says that the distracted driving is often “under reported” in official accident investigation documents.
“As a Kansas City distracted driving accident lawyer, I know that the only way to determine that a serious accident was caused by a driver using a cell phone is through the cell phone records kept by the cell phone provider. Because these records are not available without the cell phone owner’s authorization, it is difficult for highway patrol or police to conclude the accident was caused by a driver using a cell phone.”
Given the above, Horn believes it is important work for accident lawyers to properly handle potential distracted driving accident cases so that drivers who are texting or otherwise manipulating a cell phone can be held accountable. Horn says, “Unless we do our job and uncover the evidence, the problem is going to get worse before better, and we can not afford that.”