March 06, 2013 /24-7PressRelease/
-- Despite a nationwide focus on decreasing the number of accidents caused by distracted drivers -- including public awareness campaigns with slogans such as "Stop the Texts, Stop the Wrecks," -- statistics show the frequency of distracted driving collisions is on the rise. According to a Missouri State Highway Patrol sergeant, distracted drivers are now the primary cause of motor vehicle accidents in the state.
In 2011, the Missouri State Highway Patrol reported that distracted driving accidents
led to 153 fatalities and approximately 10,000 personal injuries. One of the main causes of distracted driving these days are drivers talking, texting or surfing the Internet on their cellphones. Law enforcement officers point out, though, that other activities can also distract drivers while behind the wheel, including:
- Applying makeup
- Talking to a passenger in the vehicle
- Using a GPS device
- Changing the radio station
Nevertheless, cellphone distractions are some of the most common, as many drivers keep their phones within arm's reach while behind the wheel.
Missouri's distracted driving laws more lenient than many other states
Across the country, states have enacted laws to curb the number of distracted drivers on the road. In Missouri
, little action has been taken in comparison to many other states.
Thus far, Missouri only has one law specifically targeted at preventing distracted driving. In Missouri, novice drivers are prohibited from texting while driving. The law was implemented in 2009 and focuses on one of the most dangerous types of cellphone distraction -- texting. According to a Virginia Tech study, drivers who text while behind the wheel are 23 times more likely to be involved in an auto accident
than non-distracted drivers.
While the law is focused on a risky behavior, recent statistics have shown that it has been difficult for Missouri police officers to enforce. According to the Columbia Missourian, only four novice drivers per month, on average, have received citations for texting while driving since 2009.
Many other states have passed stricter distracted driving laws, prohibiting all drivers from texting while on the road and banning drivers from handheld cellphone usage. Despite these efforts, the number of fatalities caused by distracted driving accidents rose in 2011. In 2010, 3,267 people were killed in such accidents -- in 2011, that number rose to 3,331. In addition, approximately 387,000 people sustained personal injuries in such crashes in 2011.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a motor vehicle accident caused by a distracted driver, consulting with an experienced, Missouri personal injury attorney will ensure your rights are protected.
Article provided by Kolker & Germeroth, L.L.C.
Visit us at www.kolkergermeroth.com---
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