Say goodbye to 2011 and give a big, welcoming hello to 2012. It's a New Year and it's time to start it off right. Let's all start off by making a New Year's resolution to be a better driver.
One of the most beneficial New Year's resolutions that a resident can make is to curb the distractions at the wheel. You may think that this is a resolution that only our young drivers should agree too, but you'd be surprised. According to St. Louis Today, more than half of all drivers are distracted by the use of a cell phone or a text messaging device.
Distraction-related car accidents in Missouri are an all too common occurrence that are unnecessary and completely preventable.
Our St. Louis car accident attorneys understand that a majority of drivers feel that talking on a cell phone or using a text message device while driving is extremely dangerous, yet most drivers still engage in the behavior. We're asking drivers to make one of their New Year's resolution to curb the distractions while operating a motor vehicle. It's a simple resolution and could end up saving lives on our Missouri roadways.
To help to get drivers to prevent distractions, Missouri state Representative Don Wells, R-Cabool and Missouri state Sen. Robin Wright-Jones, D-St. Louis, are both sponsoring bills in the upcoming sessions that could potentially extend Missouri's statewide ban to affect drivers of all ages from using text messaging devices. Current law only targets drivers that are under the age of 22. All drivers are still allowed to talk on cell phones at the wheel.
According to a recent AAA study:
-Drivers ages 18- to 24-years-old are most likely to text message behind the wheel.
-Roughly 10 percent of drivers ages 45- to 54-years-old text message while driving.
Missouri's current text message ban on drivers may be tough to enforce. During the first 25 months that the law was enforced, there were less than 130 tickets issued to drivers.
"We need to get back to the original premise of driving," said National Transportation Safety Board Chairwoman Deborah Hersman. "Keep your eyes on the road. You cannot do that if you are texting. It's impossible."
We're asking all drivers to be responsible at the wheel. By this we mean putting down the distractions and focusing on the roadway. Safer roadways start with you.
And it's not just our law firm that's pushing for safer roads. The Missouri State Highway Patrol is also pushing for distraction-free roadways through its anti-texting while driving campaign. State Patrol officers ask motorists to put down the cell phones to help make our roadways safer.
"Inattention is a leading cause of traffic crashes," said Colonel Replogle. "If you're focused on sending a text message, then you aren't paying attention to your driving."
Col. Replogle asks that drivers of all ages get in the spirit of Missouri's current law, only banning drivers under the age of 22 from texting, and to willingly curb distractions.
In 2009, there were nearly 1,800 car accidents involving cell phone-using drivers in the state of Missouri.
All ages are guilty of texting while driving, by Ken Leiser, St. Louis Today
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
DOT Campaign Shares Stories of Fatal Distracted-Driving Car Accidents in St. Louis and Elsewhere, St. Louis Car Accident Lawyer Blog, November 25, 2011