The increase of cell phone usage in the US has led to another threat to drivers: distracted driving. Whether talking on the cell phone, texting, or reading messages while driving, Americans are distracted like never before. Our need for 24/7 connectedness has led to risky behavior that has not yet changed.
Statista reports that about 304 million people in the US are mobile phone users. The Pew Research Center reports that in the US alone, 96% of Americans own some type of cell phone. Additionally, ¾ of us also own laptop or desktop computers, and about half own e-readers or tablets. One in five Americans also uses their smartphone as their primary means of getting online, and don’t have home Internet service, making them highly dependent on their mobile devices.
Statistics On Distracted Driving
Using these devices behind the wheel is always dangerous, but it doesn’t seem to stop anyone. The CDC reports that every day, 1,000 people are injured and 9 people killed in crashes that involve a distracted driver.The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration reports that in 2017, approximately 3,166 people were killed in accidents with distracted drivers. Of those, 401 fatal crashes with drivers who were actively engaged in cell phone use—talking, listening to or interacting with a phone. Approximately 434 people were killed in these accidents.The age group with the largest number of drivers using cell phones is 20-29, with 151 involved in fatal crashes. Drivers age 30-39 was second with 85 involved in fatal crashes, and drivers 15-29 were the third largest group with 63 drivers using a cell phone and involved in a fatal crash.CarInsurance.Net also offers some statistics on the subject:
- 6 million car accidents in the US are caused by texting drivers every year.
- 21% of US drivers reported that they have sent text messages and/or emails while driving.
- 14% of all fatal crashes in the US involved a driver using his or her cell phone.
- In 2018, there were 4,637 deaths attributed to cell phone use in car crashes in the US alone.
- There are about 390,000 injuries in the US annually as a result of texting while driving.
Is Texting And Driving Illegal In Kansas City?
Missouri has not yet passed a total ban on texting and driving, but it is prohibited for all drivers under the age of 22, and is a “primary offense” for drivers under 21. Commercial drivers are also prohibited from texting or using handheld phones.The law in Kansas City states that:
- Texting, instant messaging and emailing are illegal while sitting behind the wheel This is a “primary” offense, meaning that if an officer sees you do it, they can pull you over and issue a ticket. The officer does not need another reason.
- “Novice” drivers, those with permits and intermediate licenses, are banned from both texting and phone use, both handheld and hands-free
- Licensed drivers who are not “novices” are allowed to talk on a handheld phone (despite texting being banned)
Kansas City does have some exceptions to these laws, including first responders and law enforcement.There are also local distracted driving laws in these areas:
- Lake St. Louis
- Sunrise Beach
However, several legislative bills were introduced in 2019 to ban texting and driving by all ages throughout the state of Missouri. Only one received attention.
Popham Law Is Kansas City’s First Accident Law Firm
Drivers on cell phones are everywhere—talking, texting, and not paying attention. If you were hit by someone who was texting or otherwise not paying attention because of their phone, call an experienced Kansas City law firm who understands how to handle a car accident.Since 1918, The Popham Law Firm has helped hundreds of people in all kinds of accident cases. We’ll be happy to review your case, let you know if you have one, and how to proceed. Contact us at (844) 243-2288 or (use our online contact form) to get started.