Cell Phone Use While Driving: Distraction? No.
Conscious Choice? Yes.
Don’t Text and Drive. It Can Wait. Buckle Up, Phone Down.
We’ve all heard these phrases and slogans hundreds of times. They dominate the conversation when it comes to the use of cell phones behind the wheel. But do these pledges, slogans, and signs really work? Are Americans and Missourians really committed to leaving their handheld electric devices alone on the roads? Unfortunately, the most recent data indicates drivers are still instant messaging, surfing the web, and texting while driving at alarming rates.
A Recent Report in the Jefferson City News Tribune claims cell phone related crashes in Missouri increased by approximately 35% in 2018, and the number of fatal crashes stemming from cell phone use was even higher. Last year, the Missouri Highway Patrol reported 10 fatal crashes in Boone County, 6 in Callaway County, 5 in Miller County, 4 in both Cole and Morgan Counties, and 2 in Osage County. Across the state in 2018, 918 Missourians lost their lives as a result of motor vehicle crashes. As MoDOT Highway Safety and Traffic Engineer Jon Nelson simply put it, “It’s completely preventable. We can do better.”
Cell phone use behind the wheel is often referred to as “Distracted Driving” or “Inattentive Driving.” Those terms are misleading and don’t tell the whole story. Distracted or inattentive driving occurs for a fleeting moment when something outside the driver’s control captures their attention, like a deer jumping out of the woods near the road or a loud siren blaring from a fire engine or ambulance. It’s time to call a spade a spade: using a cell phone while driving is a Conscious Choice, plain and simple. Liking that latest photo or post, reading that last text message, or viewing that most recent snapchat is a Voluntary Volition, an Attentive Action, and a Deliberate Decision that far too often produces Reckless Results.
If you or a loved one was injured in a motor vehicle collision involving a tweeting teen or texting truck driver, give us a call. We take pride in both helping our clients get the compensation and results they deserve, while also encouraging others to silence the cell phone, cease the texting, and keep their eyes on the road. Together, we can make our communities safer and help stop these entirely preventable tragedies from plaguing our great state and country. When life is unfriendly, Call & Gentry. Our personal injury attorneys are here to help.