Governors Highway Safety Association Targets Distracted Driving Car Accidents in Missouri

Governors Highway Safety Association Targets Distracted Driving Car Accidents in Missouri

Missouri officials are going to need more than a law on record to stop drivers from texting or from using a cell phone behind the wheel. A recent report, conducted by the Governors Highway Safety Association(GHSA), studied more than 350 scientific papers that looked into distracted driving trends and car accidents in Missouri and elsewhere over the last decade.

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Our St. Louis car accident attorneys believe this report may be useful to Missouri lawmakers, who have only banned texting for drivers 21-years-old and younger. We currently don’t have a state law banning cell phone use either, so if you’re over the age of 21 you’re allowed to text, update you facebook and even tweet behind the wheel.

“You know, that part isn’t really surprising,” said Barbara Harsha, executive director of the Governors Highway Safety Association. “We have known all along that just passing a law by itself isn’t going to make a difference.”

This theory has been proven time and time again as laws enforcing seat belts and battling drunken driving were backed by highly visible enforcement. Only when enforcement efforts are increased do we see a higher rate of compliance by local drivers.

The GHSA report has been titled “Distracted Driving: What Research Shows and What States Can Do” and is meant to help state decision-makers take the best route of action when they decide to create and enforce texting or cellphone bans.

This information isn’t finalized though. There aren’t a ton of absolutes regarding this new epidemic.

“Despite all that has been written about driver distraction, there is still a lot that we do not know,” Harsha said. “Much of the research is incomplete or contradictory. Clearly, more studies need to be done addressing both the scope of the problem and how to effectively address it.”

The GHSA report encourages Missouri police to start keeping more detailed information and records regarding driver distractions.

Aside from enforcing laws that our state already follows, the report suggests that Missouri:

  • Use pavement “rumble strips” to alert drivers when they start to drift out of their lane. Luckily, Missouri is one step ahead of this suggestion as we already use these strips.
  • Encourage all employers to develop policies and programs that discourage distracted driving on the job and in company vehicles.
  • Evaluate distracted driving laws and programs from other states. Looking over how others are doing it will help to provide us with information we can use to create effective countermeasures.
  • Enact a texting ban for all drivers.
  • Make it illegal for novice drivers to talk on cellphones while driving.

According to, there were nearly 5,500 people killed on U.S. roadways because of traffic accidents that reported the involvement of a distracted driver in 2009. Another 448,000 people were injured in these accidents. With the proper traffic laws and effective enforcement to back them up, we can help to save lives on our Missouri roadways.

If you have been injured in a Missouri car accident, contact St. Louis Injury Lawyer Ryan R. Cox for a free and confidential appointment to discuss your rights. Call 636-946-6886.

More Blog Entries:

Distracted teen drivers increase risk for St. Louis car accidents, St. Louis Car Accident Lawyer Blog, March 21, 2011

One Dead, Two Injured in Missouri Car Accident involving Teenagers, St. Louis Car Accident Lawyer Blog, February 21, 2011

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Ryan R. Cox & Associates, LLC

Ryan R. Cox & Associates, LLC is a litigation law firm that represents individuals and families in serious personal injury and wrongful death claims throughout Missouri. We help people who have been injured in all types of accidents—including car or truck accidents, motorcycle accidents, slip and fall accidents, and much more. Whether your injury is something that can cause long-term issues like a brain injury or spinal cord injury, or it is something you’ll likely make a full recovery from, we are here to help.

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