Lawmakers consider text-messaging ban in effort to reduce Missouri car accidents

Lawmakers consider text-messaging ban in effort to reduce Missouri car accidents

Missouri lawmakers spent the final days of the 2010 legislative session debating the merits of a bill that would ban text messaging by all drivers, the News-Leader reported.

By pushing the measure to the governor’s desk for signature, lawmakers hope to reduce the number of serious and fatal Missouri car accidents caused by distracted drivers.

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The state outlawed text messaging by drivers under the age of 21 last year. The federal government is pushing all 50 states to ban drivers from text messaging. The National Safety Council reports at least 200,000 accidents a year are caused by text messaging while behind the wheel.

The proposed law would exempt drivers who use voice-activated or hands-free phones to text, the St. Joseph News-Press reported.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is aggressively pushing states to ban text messaging. In February 2009, just seven states had banned text messaging by drivers. By February 2010, a total of 19 states had forbidden drivers from text messaging while behind the wheel. A number of others states — including Kansas, Missouri and Florida — are tackling the issue this year.

“Our top priority is safety and we are determined to help the states eradicate the dangerous practice of texting while driving,” said David Strickland, Administrator for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

The federal government has taken a tough stand against text messaging, contending that it involves three forms of driver distraction: Visual, manual and cognitive. Earlier this year, the government launched www.distraction.gov, aimed at educating the public on the dangers of distracted driving.

Other Forms of Distracted Driving:

-Using a Cell Phone.

-Drinking or Eating.

-Talking to Passengers.

-Dressing, grooming or applying makeup.

-Reading.

-Using navigation systems or other on-board electronic devices.
Distracted Driving Facts

-Nearly 6,000 people are killed and more than half a million injured each year by distracted driving.

-Younger, inexperienced drivers under 20 are most at risk.

-Drivers who use hand-held devices are four times more likely to be involved in a serious or fatal traffic accident.

-Using a cell phone delays a driver’s reaction time as much as a blood-alcohol level of .08, the legal limit for drunk driving.

If you have been involved in a car accident in the St. Charles area, contact Missouri injury lawyer Ryan R. Cox for a free and confidential appointment to discuss your rights. Call 636-946-6886.

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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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