The Kansas City Star
reported recently that traffic fatalities spiked last year in the Kansas
City region. The article shows that as of the date it was published on December 22,
2017, there were 98 traffic fatalities in the Kansas City area. This number
is up 44 percent over the previous year.
The article discusses a number of potential causes, including:
- A possible increase in drunk driving crashes that could stem from a decrease
in funding from the State government for sobriety checkpoints
- Impaired driving from other drugs
- Police officers being reassigned from traffic duty to homicide investigations
- An increase in distracted driving crashes
Texting While Driving Remains Legal, Despite the Known Risk
Despite the well-known dangers of distracted driving, and the spike in
traffic fatalities in Kansas City, the Missouri legislature has not enacted
a law making it a crime to text while driving. Missouri is only one of
three states in the country that has yet to ban texting while driving.
Thankfully, we don’t have to wait on an Act of Congress to send the
message that texting while driving is against the rules.
Hold People Responsible for Texting And Drive
Juries act as the voice of the community. With their verdicts, they get
to say what is acceptable in our communities and what is not.
By finding in favor of people who have been hurt in crashes caused by people
texting while driving, and awarding full and fair compensation for the
losses from those crashes, our juries can set the standard for driving
in Missouri. And by the use of punitive damages, they can send the message
that we the people of Missouri do not accept texting while driving.
Do Your Part to End Traffic Fatalities
Beyond holding distracted drivers accountable while serving on a jury,
we can take measures to end the spike in traffic fatalities.
As a driver:
- Avoid distracted driving. Distractions are anything that take your mind
off the road or your hands off the wheel. Practice defensive driving by
driving the speed limit, keeping a safe distance between you and the car
in front of you and obeying all traffic laws.
this blog post for more tips on how you can stop driving distracted.
As a pedestrian:
- Pay attention to your surroundings. Just because a driver isn’t supposed
to do something, doesn’t mean they won’t. Take responsibility
for yourself and always obey traffic laws.
As a motorcyclist:
If you’ve been the victim of a distracted driving case, call Meyerkord,
Russell & Hergott for a free consultation at 816.867.8611.
- Be aware of other cars, pay attention to your surroundings and take responsivity
for yourself. In addition, always wear protective gear which decreases
your risk for injury and death.