Distracted Driving Accidents
No matter how many powerful documentaries or Lifetime movies may address the issue of distracted driving, people continue to talk, text and post on social media while they are driving. Distracted driving is said to be responsible for 25 percent of automobile accident deaths in the USA. Driving has become a dangerous, but necessary activity and your chances of getting in an accident are greater than they ever have been.
Types of Distracted Driving
The main cause of distracted driving is certainly the Smartphone. People take their eyes off the road and their hands off the steering wheel when they compose a text or answer the phone. Many people can’t resist the urge to post their every thought on social media regardless of whether they are walking down the street or speeding down the highway.
There are other forms of distractions that existed long before the invention of the cellular phone. Children screaming in the back seat, an attention seeking person in the passenger seat, and the compulsion to adjust the radio dials have been distracting drivers ever since cars were invented.
Other types of accidents can be caused by cell phones. In a pedestrian-involved accident, it may well be the pedestrian who is responsible for the crash. They may have walked out into traffic while texting without realizing that they did not have the right of way. Falling into manholes while texting is not as uncommon as one might think.
Distracted Driving Laws in Missouri
Missouri is the 23rd state to ban texting while driving. Unfortunately, the law only applies to those drivers who are under the age of 21. The age limit makes the law very difficult to enforce because a law enforcement officer must be able to determine how old a texting driver is as they fly down the highway at 75 miles an hour with their head bent over their phone.
Penalties for Distracted Driving
A young driver can be fined up to $200 and receive 2 points on their license for violating the new law. There are currently six bills in the Missouri state legislature to ban texting and driving for people of all ages.
What to do if You are Injured
If you are injured by a distracted driver, stay at the scene until the police arrive and tell them everything you remember about the accident. Exchange information with the other driver and get the names of any witnesses. Ask for a copy of the accident report and save any medical bills you may receive. Missouri is an at-fault state for auto insurance, which means that the driver responsible for the accident is responsible for the bills. Because it is a “pure comparative fault state,” a driver only has to pay for the percentage of the accident they caused. If a driver caused 80 percent of your accident, you should be able to recover 80 percent of your medical bills and car repair bills. Give our office a call before you call the other driver’s insurance company. Our attorneys have years of experience in negotiating with insurance companies. We can get you the money you deserve.