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Distracted driving could result in personal injury cases

Texting while driving has become an increasingly serious problem in Missouri and elsewhere around the country. Police say that the behavior is deadly and often leads to fatal accidents. Reports show that personal injury and fatalities result from car crashes when drivers fail to put down their phones.

According to the Missouri State Highway Patrol, texting while driving is defined as distracted driving for adults over the age of 21. It is illegal for anyone under the age of 21 to text while driving. Other actions, such as adjusting the radio, applying makeup or reaching for food are also categorized as distracted driving. However, the behavior must be observed by police and be determined as a hazard on the roads.

A Highway Patrol officer attributes distracted driving as the number one cause of all traffic accidents. In addition, more teen fatalities are caused by traffic accidents than any other reason. This combination is of great concern to the Missouri Department of Transportation. The electronic signs on roadways throughout the state stress the importance of not texting while driving.

Police recommend keeping both hands on the wheel and remaining focused while driving. They suggest placing the phone out of reach in the back seat and only check it when the vehicle is not in operation. Officers recount the tragic responsibility of informing a family member that a loved one has been seriously injured or died because of distracted driving.

When someone in Missouri has been injured or died as a result of someone else's distracted driving, surviving family members may be entitled to seek compensation for damages. An experienced attorney can help victims and/or families through the legal process of filing a personal injury lawsuit or a wrongful death claim. A successful award could help offset unexpected hospital costs, funeral expenses and/or other monetary damages that accrue from such acts of negligence.

Source: kspr.com, "What Missouri law says about distracted driving", Matt Buhrman, April 4, 2017

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