When you are driving down a Missouri road or highway, you may have encountered
many bad drivers. Perhaps you have experienced several near misses because
the other driver was texting while behind the wheel or doing any other
activity that has sapped his or her attention from the task of driving.
As a result, you may ask yourself if Missouri has the worst drivers in
the nation. Unfortunately, a website has confirmed the fears of many Missourians.
The website CarInsuranceComparison.com recently ranked each state’s
drivers based on data from Mothers Against Drunk Driving, the National
Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the National Motorists Association.
To arrive at their rankings, the website factored in the number of
car accidentscaused by careless driving and
drunk driving for each state. Additionally, factors such as the rate of violations of
seatbelt laws and laws banning texting or cellphone use while driving
for each state were considered.
Once the study had analyzed the data, each state was assigned a ranking.
Although Louisiana received the honor of having the nation’s worst
drivers, Missouri was not far off. Overall, Missouri tied with North Carolina
for having the nation’s seventh worst drivers.
While compiling the rankings, the website’s researchers found a correlation
between the rates of careless driving (e.g. texting while driving) and
driver fatality rates. It was found that states that had high rates of
careless driving also had a corresponding high number of drivers killed.
Overall, Missouri was the 29th worst state for driver fatalities and 25th
worst for careless drivers, which was the chief reason for its rather
low ranking for safe drivers overall. Conversely, of the top 15 states
with the best drivers, only four scored in the bottom half in these categories.
CONSULT AN ATTORNEY
The website’s findings made clear that the safest states have the highest
number of drivers that are paying attention to the road and surrounding
traffic conditions, not their cellphones. It is also curious to note that
many of the safest states had laws in place restricting or banning cellphone
use or texting while driving. Unfortunately, Missouri currently does not
have such a law. Although passing such a law is no guarantee of better
driver habits, the threat of a ticket (and the accompanying fines and
penalties) can be an effective deterrent.
However, the absence of a ban on cellphone use while behind the wheel does
not mean that careless drivers may not be held accountable. In Missouri,
drivers that cause an accident because they were distracted can be held
liable for their negligence. If you are injured by such a driver, you
may be entitled to recover the costs arising from the accident such as
medical bills and lost wages. An experienced personal injury attorney
can advise you on your claim and ensure that you receive the compensation
due to you under law.