When drivers make poor choices behind the wheel, innocent people can suffer. For example, reading one text or checking social media for just a few moments can result in catastrophic consequences for other motorists. Since the invention of the smartphone and the start of its widespread popularity, it has been the source of many safety issues in Missouri and across the country. There are significant dangers associated with any type of phone use while operating a vehicle.
Most drivers are aware of the risks associated with distracted driving, yet many continue to choose to engage in this dangerous behavior. The states that have passed hands-free driving laws have seen some improvement in their numbers of distraction-related accidents, but overall, distracted driving is a growing problem. Unfortunately, innocent people often pay the price for this recklessness.
A high cost for a deadly decision
There have been many studies on the problem of distracted driving. They have discovered that, in states without a ban on distracted driving, as many as 90% of drivers use their phones while behind the wheel. Studies also found that many drivers were unaware of the laws regarding distracted driving, with 40% of drivers polled admitting that they did not know about hands-free laws, if applicable. Recently, estimates suggest that, for every 10% increase in the number of distracted drivers, 420 additional people die, and it results in billions in additional costs.
Drivers who engage in distracted driving often assume that they can safely multitask. However, even checking one text can result in a driver taking his or her eyes off the road for four to five seconds at a time. This is comparable to driving the entire length of a football field at 55 miles per hour while blindfolded. Another troubling result of recent studies found that more drivers are engaging in distracting behaviors while driving at elevated rates of speed.
What about victims?
Those who are suffering due to the reckless or negligent actions of another driver have legal options available to them. They do not have to suffer in silence, but instead, they can seek justice and compensation through a civil claim. This course of action provides you a way to hold responsible parties accountable and pursue recovery after a distraction-related accident. An assessment of your accident can reveal the specific legal options available to you.