Distracted Driving Quickly Becoming Local Issue
by: David W. Ransin
Recently, the Missouri Highway Patrol released their August 2013 STARS crash report. In this report, we will examine “Probable Contributing Circumstance” for accidents that occurred inside the Springfield, Missouri area. In total, there were 195 accidents that led to personal injury, and 456 reported accidents that led to property damage. Distracted driving was reported by the Missouri Highway Patrol to have caused 38 personal injuries and 94 cases of property damage. This means that nearly 20% of all accidents that caused a personal injury were from distracted drivers operating vehicles. This was the second-leading cause of personal injury accidents after failure to yield, which accounted for 45 accidents. Distracted drivers also accounted for the #1 cause of property damage representing over 21% of total accident causes.
We continually hear about the dangers of driving while distracted. At Ransin Injury Law, we call this driving while “Intexticated.” There are several companies investing in anti-text or distracted driver prevention with national advertising campaigns. However, to put this in a local perspective, we have our neighbors; people in our community being harmed by drivers who are distracted; a practice that can be easily avoided.
From January 2013 through August 2013, 274 people have been injured because of distracted drivers in Springfield alone. It becomes all too apparent that distracted driving is not just a national issue, but rather a local one, which affects our community and negatively impacts Springfield motorists.
In my profession, I fight for those who have been injured because of the negligence of another driver. What I am fighting for is their ability to recover the fair compensation they need in order to recover from the physical and mental losses associated with the crash. I fight the driver’s insurance company, not the driver. The insurance company represents a large, powerful entity aimed at reducing the payout my clients should receive. This is a simple explanation to very complex services personal injury attorneys provide for their clients. I mention this because I believe in trying to utilize our marketing power and community outreach programs to help positively impact the lives of our drivers. Distracted driving has been a topic of our educational outreach for several years, and having witnessed the result through the clients I represent; we are very passionate about advocating change both with laws and legislation and our own internal marketing campaigns.
Please do not drive “intexticated”. Please do not drive distracted. Take the extra time to simply focus on you, your vehicle, and the people you love that may be in your car as well. Distracted driving continues to impact our community, and my firm is dedicated to helping educate and evoke changes in driving behaviors, to reduce the amount of these types of accidents in Springfield and throughout Missouri’s roadways. There are 274 people in the last eight months who have been hurt by a distracted driver. Please help us make sure this number does not continue to climb.