Hullverson Law Firm

Distracted driving due to cellphone use

Missouri drivers should be aware of the fact that texting while driving can cause serious accidents that are sometimes fatal. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 18 percent of fatal motor-vehicle accidents nationwide in 2010 were attributable to distracted driving. The NHTSA also reported that more than 400,000 people were injured as a result of distracted driving that same year. Additionally, a Pew Research Center survey found that 40 percent of teens said they had been in vehicles in which the drivers were using their phones in ways that endangered others.

Some states have enacted laws prohibiting the use of mobile devices while driving. Others now require hands-free use of cellphones while driving. Steps can be taken outside of enacting legislation to reduce the number of distracted drivers on the road.

Parents and educators can play an important role in preventing distracted driving accidents. Parents can help by being good role models for their teenagers. When teens see that their parents drive responsibly and avoid using their mobile devices while they are on the road, they may be more likely to follow those examples. Teachers and parents can also improve the overall safety of the roads by giving their young drivers clear rules about when and where they should use their phones.

People who have been hurt in auto accidents in which the driver who seemed to have initiated the crash was talking or texting while driving can seek compensation from that driver's insurance company. A personal injury lawyer could negotiate with an at-fault driver's insurer in order to obtain a settlement for a client that would cover his or her accident-related expenses.

Source: fcc.gov, "The Dangers of Texting While Driving", September 12, 2014

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