Driving a motor vehicle is a serious responsibility that far too many drivers take lightly. Distracted driving continues to take lives on roads in Missouri and throughout the nation as drivers perform dangerous actions while they should be paying attention to the road. Some of the most dangerous forms of distracted driving include:
- Texting while driving: Texting is especially dangerous because it takes the driver’s mind and eyes off the road while taking their mind off what they are doing. In the few seconds it takes to read or send a text message, hazards can enter the path of a vehicle, putting lives at risk.
- Talking on the cell phone: Engaging in a cell phone conversation requires mental energy that is much better spent paying attention to traffic and road conditions. Split-second decisions require diligent attention, and talking on the phone, even a hands-free device, dangerously splits a driver’s attention.
- Interacting with passengers: Whether a young driver is distracted by his or her friends, or a parent is focusing attention on a child in the backseat instead of the road, vehicle passengers are a dangerous source of distraction.
Making Missouri roads safer
Missouri’s texting while driving laws are among the most lenient in the nation. While texting behind the wheel is illegal for drivers 21 years of age and younger, there are no such laws applying to drivers of all ages. It is up to drivers to make safe decisions regardless the laws. The more we can spread the word of the dangers of distracted driving, the safer our roads will be for everyone.
We must also work to hold negligent drivers accountable for their careless behavior. This not only achieves justice for accident victims but can also serve as a deterrent for others tempted to text while driving or engage in other risky behavior. If you or someone close to you has been injured by a distracted driver, know that there are legal options available to you.