As you're speeding along the highway you glance to your right and notice the young woman driver caught up in an animated cell phone conversation, her hands gesturing excitedly.
A glance to the driver on your left side shows a businessman scrolling down the screen of his smart phone, perhaps finishing up a little work on the drive home.
Depending on your view regarding cell phone use while driving, you might be thinking one of two things: “What's the big deal?” or “Isn't that illegal?”
What's the Big Deal?
As more people move away from home lines to cell phones, the number of people using their phones while driving has increased exponentially.
A sharp increase in distracted driving crashes in Missouri and nationwide is largely attributed to this increase in cell phone use. In fact, recent statistics show that cell phones now cause up to one-fourth of all car accidents nationwide.
While driving distractions of all types contribute to crashes, the sudden influx of cell-phone-related crashes has states scrambling to make laws restricting their use in an effort to cut down on injury crashes.
Isn't That Illegal?
While many states have implemented bans on texting or restricted teen use of cell phones, Missouri has stayed mostly quiet on the subject. The one exception is a 2009 law banning anyone 21 and younger from texting while driving.
Nearby, Illinois bans all drivers from texting, checking email, or surfing the Internet. Other restrictions apply when driving in school zones, construction areas, or near an accident scene. Teens are not allowed to use a cell phone while driving at all in Illinois, even if it's a hands-free device.
At least three bills in the Missouri State House for 2013 are aimed at cell phone use. Two would ban texting for all ages, except for voice-recognized texting. The third seeks to ban all handheld wireless communication devices, allowing only for hands-free cell phone use.
Of course, potential laws do nothing for you if you've already been the victim of a Missouri car accident where cell phone use was the culprit. Because talking on your phone or texting while driving is not yet illegal in Missouri, you may have a harder time getting compensation for your injuries.
That's why you need the experienced St. Louis car crash lawyers of Alvin Wolff, Jr., and Associates. For a free consultation, call 877-241-1020, or just call to request your free copy of the guide, How To Pick A Lawyer.