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Missouri Ban on Texting and Driving

March 18th, 2022

There’s no denying that distracted driving has become a very real, very serious problem. Innatentive driving has caught the attention of the National Traffic Safety Board, which has urged states to outlaw the use of all cell phones while driving. Although not all accidents caused by distracted drivers stem from text messaging, the number of car crashes that occur from texting while driving is on the rise.

The real dangers of texting and driving were made apparent in Missouri in a 2010 crash, wherein a Missouri school bus accident that claimed the lives of two individuals was ruled to be caused by a texting driver. Now, Missouri law prohibits all individuals under the age of 21 from texting while driving. However, new 2013 bills seek to expand the state’s ban on texting and driving to all drivers, regardless of age. This new legislation includes House Bill 145, which would ban the use of wireless communication devices (including all cell phones) while driving. Under the stipulations of this bill, hands free cell phone use is the only type of acceptable mobile phone use. Similarly, House Bill 394 seeks to apply the Missouri text messaging law to all drivers, regardless of age. This bill would allow voice-operated texting and cell phone usage. Finally, House Bill 524 would also seek to ban all Missouri drivers from texting behind the wheel, but would replace the current twenty-one and under laws.

If this legislation were to pass, tickets would be given to all driver’s caught texting and driving. Similarly, harsher punishments would be in place for any individual convicted of causing a motor vehicle accident because they were texting while driving. Recent studies have shown that distracted drivers, such as those who are sending text messages while driving, may be just as likely to cause an accident as t hose who are driving drunk. Unfortunately, online polls indicate that almost one third of all Americans admit to having sent or received a text message while driving. This behavior, so widely practiced in America, not only leads to a higher likelihood of collision, but also to an increased likelihood of injury. If you or a loved one has been injured in a Missouri car crash that was caused by an individual who was sending or receiving text messages while driving, it is imperative that you call a Missouri injury lawyer. A personal injury attorney can help to make sense of current Missouri texting and driving laws and legislation, and how they apply to your particular case.