Welcome to the Blog of The Glassman Law Firm, P.C., St. Louis Personal Injury Attorneys

We blog about relevant issues in personal injury law, discuss the misconceptions surrounding personal injury law and some of the most popular cases in the news, inform on the legal and political landscape of tort reform and insurance company lobbying, and provide readers with helpful personal injury information and resources. Please visit www.glassmanlegal.com for more information.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Proposed Distracted Driving Legislation In Missouri

There are many environmental distractions a driver may face on the road, but because text messaging demands the manual, visual, and cognitive attention of a driver, it is probably the most recklessly negligent distraction, next to driving while intoxicated. The Virginia Tech Transportation Institute found that sending or receiving a text takes a driver's eyes off the road for an average of 4.6 seconds. This is the equivalent of driving more than the length of an entire football field at 55 mph, blind. Colorado studies have shown that the reaction time of texting drivers is equivalent to that of drunk drivers!

Distracted driving is a dangerous epidemic in our country. In 2011 alone, 3,331 people were killed in distracted driving related incidents and another 387,000 people were injured. That number is up from the 3,267 people that were killed in 2010.

There are two Missouri bills currently in the legislature that seek to expand the state's ban on texting while driving to drivers of all ages, says handsfreeinfo.com. Currently the law only applies to drivers under the age of 21. The 20 and under age group has the greatest number of drivers reported to have been distracted during a fatal accident.

The Columbia Missourian recently reported that on average, fewer than four people per month have received a texting while driving ticket; and out of Missouri's 114 counties, half of them have ticketed no one. Prosecutors believe that the age barrier makes it difficult for police to pull drivers over, since they must make an age determination of the driver while they're in a moving vehicle.

The following distracted driving bills will be taken up by the Missouri House of Representatives in 2013:

House Bill 145: This bill would outlaw the use of any handheld wireless communication device while driving unless the device is equipped with hands free voice recognition technology, and is being used in this manner.

House Bill 394: This bill would apply Missouri's text messaging law to all drivers. Hands free voice recognition technology is exempt from this.

House Bill 524: This bill will prohibit all drivers, regardless of age, from text messaging while operating a moving vehicle unless the device being used is equipped with technology allowing for voice-recognition hands-free texting.

Contact the St. Louis Personal Injury Attorneys of The Glassman Law Firm at 314-446-6000 if you have been injured in an accident involving a distracted driver.

1 comment:

Please feel free to leave us a comment: we will review for spam and approve within 24 hours.