The NTSB estimates that at any given moment almost 1 in every 100 motor vehicle drivers are texting, emailing, or surfing the web.
Nearly 20% of all car accidents each year can be attributed to distracted drivers. A collision can happen in a split second. Paying full attention to the road while driving is fundamental to keeping yourself, and other motorists, safe from accidents.
Talking with other passengers, eating while driving and the use of hand-held electronics have all been shown to cause enough of a distraction to the driver to increase their chance of a collision. These activities may cause what is known as a cognitive distraction, which is a tendency for the mind to wander towards other tasks. The driver may seem to be focused on the road in front of them, when in fact a sense of tunnel vision has set it and their mind is completely focused on something else.
It was previously thought that the actual act of holding a cell phone was what led to more car crashes. Hands free devices soon flooded the market in an attempt to make drivers and passengers safer and still allow for a driver to enjoy the use of his phone while driving. Recent studies may suggest, however, that such devices do little to decrease the instance of car accidents. Some claim it is the attention given to the conversation that actually causes the distraction, not the physical act of holding the phone.
Distracted Driving in Missouri
Sending and or receiving text messages while behind the wheel is especially dangerous, as you are not only cognitively distracted by the conversation, but also physically distracted, as your eyes stray from the road to the hand held device. Missouri has yet to ban cell phone use while driving and recent changes to laws involving texting while driving only apply to motorists under the age of 21, even though studies show that a large group of offenders are those in the 30 to 39 year old range.
Fortunately for a person who has suffered injuries as a result of a motorist’s use of a cell phone, there are hundreds of reports and studies that prove their relation to causing car accidents. An experienced car accident lawyer will be aware of all the latest results from these studies and be able to help their client receive compensation for their injuries if they are involved in an accident with a driver who was distracted.
One couple recently settled their case for $500,000 against a teenager who struck them while he was sending and receiving texts from his girlfriend. The settlement reached is the maximum that the drivers insurance would cover.
St. Louis Distracted Driving Lawyers
Driving while texting puts a motorist at a similar mental capacity to safely maneuver as someone who is driving drunk. Accidents from this type of reckless negligence are becoming more frequent on Missouri roadways. The laws governing these offenses are constantly changing so if you feel that your motor vehicle collision was caused by a distracted driver contact a a St. Louis car accident lawyer at The Hoffmann Law Firm. They will review the specifics of your case to determine whether or not you are entitled to compensation.
Call today at (314) 361-4242 to schedule a free consultation.