Distracted driving is ubiquitous in the United States, and is an issue
with which every state is currently struggling. Here in Missouri, particularly
in Southwest Missouri, there is also a problem with
distracted driving, and given that the number of highway fatalities over the last year has
significantly increased, it wouldn’t be surprising if increased
distracted driving had something to do with it.
According to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, texting and
driving is the most common form of distracted driving, but as the Missouri
State Highway Patrol is keen to point out, it is certainly not the only
form. Distracted driving can include a wide variety of driving behaviors
that lead to cognitive, visual or physical distraction.
Missouri does not have very strict laws pertaining to cell phone use while
driving. The only restriction is that novice drivers—drivers younger
than 22—are prohibited from texting. Other drivers may text or talk,
then, without fear of breaking any law. That being said, every driver
is responsible for operating his or her motor vehicle in a reasonably
safe manner at all times. Failure to do so can result in liability for
property damage and the death or injury of other motorists or pedestrians.
Those who have been harmed by a distracted driver have the right to seek
appropriate compensation through the legal system, of course, and it helps
to work with an experienced personal injury attorney. Doing so ensures for the
car accident victim that his or her rights will receive the advocacy they deserve through
the entirety of the legal process.