The Risks of Distracted Driving in Missouri

As mobile technology becomes more readily available for drivers, the risk of crashes caused by distracted driving increases; in fact, the National Highway Safety Administration reports between 60-70% of all crashes in the United States are caused by distracted drivers. While awareness of the dangers of distracted driving has also increased, mobile technology changes so quickly it is at times difficult for organizations committed to protecting drivers and promoting safety to get the word out on road safety. In this blog, our Columbia personal injury attorney discusses what distracted driving us and tips you can use to prevent yourself from driving distracted.

What is Distracted Driving?
The National Highway Safety Administration states distracted driving is defined as anything other than driving behind the wheel. This can include:

  • Texting
  • Emailing
  • Eating
  • Using navigation devices
  • Even experiencing extreme emotions.

Three Types of Distraction

The Center for Disease Control reports there are three types of distraction:

1.Visual: taking your eyes off the road

2.Manual: taking your hands off the wheel

3.Cognitive: taking your mind off driving

While any activity that takes a driver’s focus from the road is unsafe, texting while driving is the most dangerous form of distracted driving because it involves all three types of distraction. Drivers who text in their vehicle must look at their phones to read a message, remove their hands from the wheel to respond, and concentrate on typing, all of which limits awareness of their surroundings including other drivers, traffic signals, and pedestrians. It only takes about 2.5 seconds to read a text message, but during this brief time, the chance of experiencing an accident almost doubles because a driver’s ability to respond to a dangerous situation is limited.

Distracted Driving Safety Tips

Currently, the only driving distracted driving prevention laws in effect are those that prohibit drivers under the age of 21 from texting. But Missouri drivers can still proactively discourage distracted driving. Here are a few driving safety tips from our personal injury lawyers.

  • Never text while driving. Even if you are stopped at a red light or a stop sign and begin texting, this is still considered texting while driving. Place your phone inside your purse or in the back seat if it causes a temptation.
  • Make all calls or send texts before entering the vehicle. Let others know you will be driving and will respond to them once you’ve reached your destination.
  • Use a designated texter. If you have someone riding with you, have your passenger send your messages.
  • Be a good role model. Remember that your actions can influence others, including children and other drivers. Part of preventing distracted driving is being the driver you want to encounter on the road

Injured in a Distracted Driving Accident?

If you were recently injured by a negligent, distracted driver, you may be eligible to recover compensation for your injuries, medical bills and wages lost. Contact one of our skilled Columbia personal injury attorneys for a free case evaluation today.

Ready to file your personal injury claim?—Call our offices today!