Despite a nationwide awareness campaign about the dangers of distracted driving, there are still a handful of states that have not banned texting and driving for all drivers—including Missouri. Recent studies have concluded that as many as one in four motor vehicle crashes likely involved the use of a cell phone by a driver. Whether the practice is illegal or not, it is undeniably dangerous and should be avoided by all drivers. When you or a family member is the victim of a car or truck crash, chances are distracted driving was a contributing factor and that is grounds for taking legal action against the at-fault driver.
Recent Statistics on Texting and Driving
By now, everyone should know that it is dangerous to take your eyes off the road to read or send a text while you are driving. In fact, drivers are 23 times more likely to crash if they are texting than if they are not. Despite this knowledge, however, this practice occurs with alarming regularity. The following numbers demonstrate just how prevalent texting and driving is:
- 341,000 motor vehicle crashes in 2013 involved texting.
- Nine Americans are killed each day as a result of distracted driving, including texting, talking on a cell phone, or eating.
- 40 percent of teenage drivers say they have been a passenger in a car when the driver texted or used a cell phone in a distracting way.
- 33 percent of drivers aged 18–64 admit to having sent or read a text message while driving in the previous month.
- 11 percent of drivers aged 18–20 who survived a car crash admitted they had been texting at the time of the accident.
Kansas Cracks Down on Texting and Driving
Laws governing the use of cell phones by drivers differ from state to state. Obviously, it is never safe to use a handheld device while driving, whether it is legal or not, but the laws of the state where an accident occurs could come into play when pursuing legal action against an at-fault driver. Kansas is one of 47 states to completely ban texting and driving for all drivers. Other components of Kansas law include:
- There is no ban on talking on a handheld phone for licensed drivers.
- Holders of learner’s permits or intermediate licenses are prohibited from using handheld or hands-free phones while driving.
- All drivers are prohibited from writing, sending, or reading a written communication on any form of a wireless communication device.
- Hands-free texting is legal for fully-licensed drivers.
- The texting ban in enforced as a primary offense, meaning a violator can be pulled over and ticketed if a police officer witnesses the action.
Missouri Has Yet to Follow Suit
Along with Arizona, Montana, and Texas, Missouri does not have a law banning texting by all drivers. Missouri does, however, place restrictions on younger drivers. Aspects of Missouri law include:
- No ban on handheld cell phone use for any driver.
- Texting while driving is prohibited for all drivers under the age of 22.
- For drivers aged 21 or under, texting while driving is a primary offense.
Kansas City Accident Injury Attorneys Will Find the Cause of Your Crash
If you were seriously injured in a motor vehicle accident that was not your fault, there is a good chance that the driver of the other car or semi-truck was distracted by his or her phone immediately before the crash. You need to speak with an experienced car accident attorney as soon as possible. Even in Missouri, where it is not illegal to text and drive, that driver can and should be held accountable for his actions. It is not easy to prove that texting and driving—or another form of driver distraction—caused the accident, but our investigators will do their best to find out. Issuing a subpoena for cell phone records is a starting point and is something we will do if the driver or his attorney are trying to claim comparative fault. When your ready to discuss your case please contact us online or call us directly at 816.471.5111.