Safety Advocates Press Missouri Legislature to Adopt Statewide Ban on Texting and Driving
Today, advocates of a Missouri ban on texting met with a House committee, reports the Kansas City Star. A trauma specialist, an insurance representative, a cycling advocate, and a high school student were among those who spoke to lawmakers about enacting the ban. 35 states and Washington D.C. already have similar bans in place. Safety advocates have pressed for Missouri to adopt a similar ban ever since the National Transportation Safety Board called for a nationwide ban on hand-held cell phones - and cited a Missouri wreck in making that recommendation.
Our Kansas City car accident lawyers urge residents to use their time behind the wheel focusing on the road instead of on phone calls or text messages. Numerous studies have proven that taking your eyes off the road to look at your cell phone greatly increases your chance of being involved in a serious accident. Since a reported 90% of drivers now carry cell phones, Missouri needs this texting ban now more than ever.
In recent months, Missourians have been urged, through a statewide anti-texting while driving campaign, to put down their cell phone to prevent distracted-driving car accidents throughout our state. Distracted driving is among the leading causes of serious -- and fatal -- car accidents nationwide.
"Inattention is a leading cause of traffic crashes," said Colonel Ron Replogle, superintendent of the Missouri Highway Patrol. "If you're focused on sending a text message, then you aren't paying attention to your driving. Cell phone usage -- particularly texting while driving can lead to tragic consequences. These consequences are easily preventable if drivers would simply put down their phones and focus on the road."
According to the Governor's Highway Safety Association (GHSA) and Col. Replogle, this statewide campaign works in accordance with Missouri's current anti-texting law. The current law prohibits all drivers 21-years-old and younger from using texting devices while driving. Although the law only affects drivers under the age of 21, the state asks that all residents, regardless of age, take part in this campaign and stop texting while driving in an attempt to make our roadways safer for everyone.
The GHSA offers these 10 tips to help avoid distracted driving:
• Pull over. If you need to make a call or make a text message, pull over in a safe area and handle it while your vehicle is stopped.
• Turn it off. Turn off your cell phone, or put it on silent mode, before you even enter your car to reduce distractions.
• Ask your passengers. If you need to make a call, ask a passenger to do it for you.
• X the text. Don't text, surf the web or read email while operating a motor vehicle. It is dangerous and is against the law in many states.
• Educate yourself. Make sure you are familiar with cell phone use and texting laws in the state you're driving through.
• Spread the word. You are urged to create a voicemail message that alerts callers that you're not answering because you may be driving. Allow the message to let them know you will call back as soon as you can.
• Secure your pet passengers. Pets can be a driver distraction as well. Be sure they're properly secured before taking off.
• Keep the kids under control. If there's a situation that you need to address in the car involving children, pull over in a safe location and then handle it.
• Prepare yourself. Check out maps and directions before you begin to drive. If you need the help of a map while you're driving, either ask a passenger to help you out or pull over and figure it out while stopped in a safe location.
• Remain focused on the task at hand. Motorists are urged to refrain from smoking, eating, drinking, reading and any other activity that takes your concentration off the road.
The attorneys at Aaron Sachs and Associates represent car accident injury victims in Kansas City, Lee's Summit, Independence and the surrounding areas. Contact our office by calling 1-888-777-AUTO, or by visiting our website.
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