St. Louis Texting and Driving Accident Lawyers
With the ever-evolving advances in technology, more people use their phones constantly throughout their everyday lives, faced with the temptation to continue using their phones even while driving. For example, drivers might respond to a text, read an incoming message, check social media, access navigational systems, search information, scroll through playlists, or make a call while operating their vehicle.
If you’re driving down the highway at 55 miles per hour and you take your eyes off the road for even five seconds, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Protection (CDC), you might as well drive with your eyes closed since the agency determined it’s the equivalent to driving the length of a football field without your sight. Obviously, we don’t recommend you closing your eyes while driving, which is why it’s important to put down your phone.
Texting and driving in St. Louis can lead to car crashes with catastrophic consequences. If you or a family member suffered injuries, death, or other damages in a texting and driving accident, contact our legal team at NST Law today to learn about your legal rights and take advantage of a free initial consultation to decide if you’re eligible to file a civil claim for compensation.
Missouri Laws on Texting and Driving
Under Missouri law, any driver under 21 or anyone operating a commercial vehicle cannot send, read, or write a text message or other electronic message. When drivers engage in texting, they lose control of their vehicle without realizing it because their eyes are off the road, and their hands are off the steering wheel, putting themselves and others at risk. Texting while driving is one of the most dangerous and common forms of distracted driving occurring among all age groups, meaning even if you’re 21 or older, you should leave the texting for later when you’re not driving.
St. Louis Municipalities’ Laws Around Texting and Driving
Missouri is one of two states that doesn’t have a statewide ban on texting and driving. Missouri lawmakers have been attempting without success for more than five years to ban texting and driving for every age in the state of Missouri, not just for underage and commercial drivers.
Some municipalities in the St. Louis area, though, have enacted distracted driving laws banning texting and driving for all drivers within city limits, including the areas of Chesterfield, Lake St. Louis, St. Charles, Kirkwood, Ellisville, Manchester, St. John, O’Fallon, and Florissant.
Recent bill proposals waiting for consideration by Missouri lawmakers include:
- A ban on motorists using cell phones in school zones and construction zones
- A ban on anyone using a handheld wireless device while driving a non-commercial vehicle unless used in a hands-free manner
- A ban on text messaging for all drivers in Missouri
- An expansion on the current texting and driving prohibition to extend to all ages in the state, not just those under 21
St. Louis Texting and Driving Accident Cases
Recently, one father has begun tackling the issue by bringing a texting and driving simulator to high schools in the St. Louis area. His daughter died in a car accident when she crashed head-on into a school bus after becoming distracted while driving. The simulator allows students to get into a car and act as though they are driving while texting, talking to passengers in the vehicle, or engaging in other distracting behaviors.
The simulator allows students to experience firsthand the dangers of distractions while driving and the serious or even deadly accidents that can happen due to distracted driving. This learning experience takes place in a safe environment that can leave a lasting impact. The concerned and grieving father uses this platform to warn other students about the dangers of texting and driving by sharing his daughter’s story. He retells his experience to hopefully prevent others from having to live out his nightmare.
As recently as January 2021, a 15-year-old girl died in a single-car crash that injured several other teenagers in the vehicle. The driver of the car lost control, drove through a guardrail, and flipped onto the opposite side of the highway. The impact ejected the young girl from the car, and paramedics pronounced her dead at the scene. Emergency personnel transported the other passengers to the hospital with serious injuries.
St. Louis Texting and Driving Crash Statistics
Using crash data from St. Louis and the surrounding areas, it’s evident that deadly crashes occur at many intersections due to an inattentive driver. Experts analyzed and compiled crash data into a list to rank these intersections based on the number of crashes that occurred and the severity of crashes reported, with lower numbers indicating more dangerous intersections.
The highest-scoring or safest intersection in the St. Louis area is at Interstate 270 and Gravois Road. Even with the different doctors’ offices, Embrace Church, and Hawthorn Bank at this intersection, the crashes reported are minimal and not as severe as other intersections included on the list. The most recent accident reported at this intersection happened on Interstate 270 when a semi-truck caught fire and shut down four lanes of traffic.
Having the lowest score in the St. Louis area, the most dangerous intersection included on the list is at Interstate 64 and MO-141. This intersection is home to Maryville University and Westminster Christian Academy (grades 7-12), situated across the street. With the combination of high school- and college-aged students, this intersection combines all the young drivers tempted to check their phones and also lacking the experience to drive defensively. In December 2019, the Missouri Coalition for Roadway Safety reported that 70% of drivers who used cell phones in Missouri were 22 years of age or older, meaning younger drivers are more likely to have to look out for older drivers not following the rules.
Ranking somewhere between the safest and most dangerous intersections are the crossings at:
- Interstate 270 and Interstate 170 in Hazelwood
- Interstate 55 and Interstate 270 in St. Louis
- Interstate 70 and Lake St. Louis Boulevard in Lake St. Louis
The intersection at Interstate 270 and Interstate 170 is home to the Village Square Shopping Mall and multiple car dealerships, including Bommarito Ford, Bommarito Volkswagen, Napleton Hyundai, and Dynamic Transit Truck Sales. These businesses add to the ebb and flow of traffic, placing this intersection in the midrange of rankings for dangerous intersections. Additionally, multiple shopping centers situated at the intersection of Interstate 55 and Interstate 255, including Target, Costco Wholesale, Best Buy, and Home Depot, add to traffic congestion and the likelihood of increased accidents at that particular location.
The intersection of Interstate 70 and Lake St. Louis Boulevard has multiple restaurants, such as Asabi Sushi Restaurant and El Maguey. Other fast-food restaurants and the SSM Health complex are also present. This intersection provides access for drivers coming from Interstate 70 to drive almost entirely around Lake Saint Louis before connecting back to Interstate 64, creating a steady flow of visitors, customers, and patients at risk for accidents where traffic crosses.
Why hire NST Law for your texting and driving car accident case in St. Louis?
With over three decades of experience, we have a dedicated team of St. Louis car accident lawyers that collectively obtained over $1.5 billion in settlements, verdicts, and judgments for injured clients. For example, after a 14-year-old boy suffered traumatic injuries in an automobile accident, our team helped him and his family secure a jury verdict in excess of $1 million. Our team also obtained a settlement of $1.2 million for a 67-year-old man injured in a rear-end truck accident.
We care about our clients’ outcomes, and we want to get you the compensation you deserve. Don’t let a texting and driving car accident derail you financially. Contact us today for a free initial consultation to determine if you have a valid claim so that we can help you decide how best to recover your financial losses to aid in your recovery.