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Reports show increased incidence of distracted driving crashes in Columbia

Distracted driving is a serious problem in the United States, as readers are surely aware. Numerous studies have demonstrated the dangers of using a cell phone while driving, as well as the prevalence of distracted driving among younger drivers. Here in Columbia, the situation is no different.

According to reports filed with the Missouri State Highway Patrol State wide Traffic Accident Records System, the number of accidents caused by cell phones and other communication devices has increased. The reports, which date from between 2005 and 2015, list distracted and inattentive driving as the leading cause of crashes, far ahead of failure to yield, tailing, speeding and improper lane use. 

Missouri, like other states, does have restrictions in place regarding the use of cell phones and other electronic devices while driving, though the law is more stripped down in Missouri than other states. Drivers are only prohibited from texting, and the law only applies to novice drives. This means that most drivers are legally permitted text and talk on the phone while driving without penalty. Just because it is legal to do so does not mean, though, that it is safe and that there are no possible legal consequences.

Every driver is responsible for follow all the rules of the road and for operating his or her motor vehicle in a reasonably safe manner at all times. Drivers who cause an accident due to some negligence can and should be held accountable for the damages they cause. Those who have been harmed by a distracted driver should always work with an experienced personal injury attorney to determine their options for seeking compensation and, if litigation makes sense, to build the strongest possible case.

Source: Distraction.gov, State Laws: Missouri, Accessed June 30, 2016. 

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