According to media reports, the number of speeding tickets issued last year on Missouri’s highways was the highest ever in the last six years. And according to the Missouri Highway Patrol, this dramatic increase is linked to the state’s growing number of distracted drivers.
Missouri Drivers Exceeding Speed Limit by 20 MPHs
In 2016, the number of Missouri drivers ticketed for going at least 20 mph over the speed limit jumped almost 25 percent over 2015. That was 27,199 drivers caught by the Missouri Highway Patrol engaged in this dangerous behavior.
Of course traveling at that high rate of speed poses extreme dangers in itself. The Missouri Highway Patrol cites speeding as the second leading cause of car and truck crashes in the Show Me State.
But there’s an underlying reason for people exceeding the speed limit by such a large margin on Missouri highways that is even more troublesome. The Missouri Highway Patrol points to distracted driving – drivers looking at the cell phones – as the probable cause for more drivers not paying attention to their speed.
Drivers of passenger cars who speed pose dangers to others on the road. This danger is much greater when it’s a truck driver distracted and speeding. It reportedly takes a fully loaded tractor-trailer traveling at 55 mph about the length of a football to stop. That’s under good weather and road conditions.
Speeding Truckers on Cell Phones
Imagine how bad the consequences could be if a trucker is speeding, not paying attention to the road ahead, and quickly approaching a line of vehicles stopped for some reason.
Federal law prohibits commercial truckers from using their phones while behind the wheel unless it is hands free. Missouri law, which covers all other drivers, is not so tough on cell phone usage.
Illinois bans all drivers from texting on the cell phones. In Missouri, such a texting ban applies only to drivers under the age of 21. There are numerous proposed changes to the law in the Missouri legislature. They range from extending the current texting ban to all licensed drivers to prohibiting hand-held cell phone use of any kind by any driver, regardless of age.
The dangers of speeding and distracted driving are self-evident. Those engaged in such reckless behavior and cause catastrophic accidents should be held accountable.
If you were seriously injured or had a loved one killed in a catastrophic wreck, contact a motor vehicle accident attorney to pursue justice on your behalf from all negligent parties.
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Authored by: Gray, Ritter & Graham, P.C. posted in Motor Vehicle Accidents on February 9, 2017