Missouri Car Accident Influences Officials to Recommend Full Ban on Cell Phones at the Wheel

Missouri Car Accident Influences Officials to Recommend Full Ban on Cell Phones at the Wheel

Officials with the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) released earlier a new recommendation for a federal ban against the use of portable electronic devices for drivers on U.S. roadways, according to CBS St. Louis. The meeting in which this recommendation was reached was used to discuss the 2010 car accident in Missouri that happened in Gray Summit in which two people were killed and another 38 were injured. The young driver who was blamed was disobeying the state’s distraction-relating road laws. According to the Governors Highway Safety Administration, the law prohibits drivers under the age of 21 from texting at the wheel. Everyone else is free to do as they wish.

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“No call, no text, no update is worth a human life,” said NTSB chairman Deborah Hersman.

Our St. Louis car accident attorneys understand that Missouri has some of the most relaxed laws in the country regarding driver distractions. Most drivers can engage in whichever distractions they would like while operating a motor vehicle. Only drivers under the age of 21 are prohibited from text messaging at the wheel. Still, officers have a tough time enforcing this law because they’re unable to tell if a young driver was dialing a phone number or composing a text. A federal ban may be the only effective way to get drivers to curb the distractions and for enforcement officers to effectively target disobeying drivers.

Under the new recommendation, drivers would still be able to use portable devices that aid driving safety and use them in emergency situations.

Officials are noticing more and more drivers on our roadways engaging in this dangerous behavior. Last year, there were over 1 million accidents that were caused by a distracted driver. These incidents accounted for roughly 25 percent of all traffic accidents during that year.

“This (distracted driving) is becoming the new DUI. It’s becoming epidemic,” said NTSB member Robert Sumwalt.

The National Safety Council (NSC) is strongly supporting the NTSB’s recommendation to make portable electronic devices illegal for drivers across the country. The NSC recognizes the difficulty that officers have enforcing these scattered laws. Distraction-related laws in each state vary and are difficult to enforce. One full ban across the nation would help to eliminate that confusions and get drivers on the road to safer roads. In 2010, there were roughly 3,100 people in the country who were killed because of accidents that involved a distracted driver.

While a federal ban may be one of the most effective ways to help ensure that all drivers are placing their full attention on the roadway, we still ask all drivers to practice responsible driving habits until then. Safe and alert driving habits may be the best way to ensure roadway safety. As holiday traffic picks up, with Christmas and New Year’s right around the corner, please be safe on our roadways and voluntarily curb distractions at the wheel.

More Blog Entries:NHTSA’s Newly Released Data Illustrated Risks of Car Accidents in St. Louis, Nation, St. Louis Car Accident Lawyer Blog, December 15, 2011

Officers Increase Patrols to Reduce Risks of Alcohol-Related Car Accidents in Missouri through Holidays,St. Louis Car Accident Lawyer Blog, December 9, 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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