Distracted Driving: An Under-Reported Problem

Woman driving while distracted

According to the Missouri Department of Transportation, 2,200 of the motor vehicle accidents that occurred in our state in 2021 were related to cellphone use alone. Of course, handheld cellphone use in Missouri has been banned for nearly 10 years, but even primary enforcement has not managed to stop the issue. What’s more, not all of these accidents were caused by people using a handheld device. Hands-free technology does not stop distraction. Many studies have found that it can actually make it worse.

Cellphone use, both handheld and hands-free, poses a serious threat to everyone on the road. It is, however, far from the only type of distraction that is common in drivers.

Behaviors that fall under the umbrella of “distracted driving” include:

  • Eating and Drinking
  • Personal Grooming
  • Adjusting Controls (radio, A/C, etc.)
  • Programming GPS
  • Reading (maps, screens, signs, etc.)
  • Rubbernecking
  • Turning to Talk to Passengers
  • Cigarette Smoking

This is far from an exhaustive list. Anything, literally anything at all, which takes your eyes or attention from the road is a form of distraction. Anything that requires you to take your hands off of the wheel is a form of distraction. Anything that is not directly related to operating a vehicle is a form of distraction. Every effort should be made to avoid these things while driving.

A National Issue

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that distracted driving causes more than 250,000 injuries and around 3,000 deaths every year. These numbers only take into account those accidents in which distraction was listed as a cause, but distraction likely plays a role in thousands more.

When you or a loved one are harmed by a driver who was not paying attention, you have the right to hold them accountable and to seek compensation for property damage, lost wages, medical expenses, and more. If you suspect you have cause to file suit, give us a call at 314-333-3333 or 618-888-8888 to schedule a free consultation and learn more about your rights

Brown & Brown maintains offices in St. Louis and Illinois. We serve victims of serious injury living throughout the Greater St. Louis area.

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