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Kansas City, Missouri Motor Vehicle Accidents Blog

City of O'Fallon gets tough on distracted drivers

Most states and cities have come to recognize the dangers of operating a motor vehicle while distracted. In many places this had led to banning behaviors such as texting and driving. Some states have outright banned the act regardless of age but a few states, like Missouri, have limited their ban only to those under the age of 21, a move cities are fighting in their own way.

O'Follan is one of a few Missouri cities making moves to get tougher on the plague of distracted drivers. Missouri state law is one of the most lax when it comes to prohibiting actions commonly associated with distracted driving. In Missouri, only those under the age of 21 are prohibited from texting and driving even though bills to prohibit the act for all have repeatedly been submitted to the state's legislature. In an attempt to do what the state hasn't, cities are passing their own ordinances. O'Follan's new ordinance is wide in breadth and prohibits everything from fixing one's hair while driving to entering an address into a GPS.

What is negligent hiring?

You're out for a walk and a distracted driver for a local delivery service runs a red light and hits you, causing injury. You have enrolled your child in daycare, only for them to tell you a story of abuse at the hands of one of the facility's employees. In these cases and others like them, a victim may be able to pursue a claim for negligent hiring or retention, in addition to any other cause of action that he or she may have.

As a general rule, employers are liable for the damages that their employees cause while on the job. Like most laws, employee liability laws vary from state to state and in how they apply in certain situations. Missouri has enacted a statute that covers an employer's responsibility for negligent hiring or retention and it differs a little from most states' laws.

Distracted driving in Missouri

In 2012, 3,328 people were killed in car accidents involving a distracted driver. This is in addition to the over 420,000 people who were injured in accidents involving a distracted driver. Distracted driving is one of the most deadly and costliest vices in the United States that is carried out on a daily basis around the country. While the federal government has instituted bans on specific actions, such as government employees and commercial vehicle drivers' texting while driving, much of the responsibility for enacting driver-related laws falls to the states.

Although Missouri's State Highway Patrol has recognized inattention as a factor in over 1,500 injuries and over 200 deaths, Missouri is one of only five states that have yet to enact any meaningful laws addressing the threat of driving while distracted. The only law that Missouri has on the books concerning distracted driving is a ban on those 21 or younger from texting while driving. While other laws regulating distracted driving have been proposed, none have garnered enough votes to pass.

School bus strikes elderly man crossing street

Buses are ever present on streets and highways around the county. Whether they are taking a student home from school or a family across the country to see relatives, buses have the reputation of being a safe and fairly non-expensive form of transport. But like every other vehicle on the road buses are involved in accidents some of which are minor and others that have last consequences for those involved.

Three young children and an elderly man are in the hospital after an early morning bus accident involving a school bus. The elderly man was walking across the road as the bus was making a left hand turn. The bus hit the man leaving him in serious condition. Fortunately the man was well enough to speak to the paramedics even though he had suffered a serious head injury. Three of the middle school kids on the bus also hit their heads and were taken to a medical center for evaluation. Although speed doesn't appear to have been a factor in the case police are still investigating to determine exactly what happened.

Railing effectiveness on the severity of car accidents

Most people think little of all the safety features that adorn Kansas City streets and highways alike. One of the most prevent form of street safety are the barriers that split the opposite flowing traffic. These barriers range in size from one foot humps to 10 foot or more concrete dividers that completely separate the highways. These dividers and other safety features are so common place that many people forget about their intended function that is until a metal guardrail is all that keeps them from going over a dangerous drop or into oncoming traffic.

Questions are being raised over the effectiveness and even safety of a certain guardrail adorning many metro highways. The guardrail in question is the ET-plus which was at the center of a Texas case. Since the case the Federal Highway Administration has order the company to retest the railing to make sure it meets current safety standards. The question of safety case after the company changed the rail's design cutting over an inch of material form the rail. Those who question the railings safety say the change stops the railing from absorbing the impact instead turning the metal into a spear. The Missouri Department of Transportation and others within the state have stopped installing the railing. The Kansas Department of Transportation estimates there are upwards of 400 of the questionable end terminals already installed on its highways, with over 20,000 installed statewide.

Can I sue even after the MO statute of limitations has expired?

You buy a new Missouri house and love it like your first born. Two years later you see a small crack in the foundation, but pay it no mind. Two years after that, the small crack has grown and will now take thousands of dollars to fix. You find out that the surgery you had four years ago was botched, and now you will have more to correct the mistake. You finally get around to suing the driver of the fender bender from three years ago. What all these situations have in common is the statute of limitations.

The Statute of Limitations is a rule used by the court system that limits the amount of time one has to bring a civil lawsuit for a past action. The reasoning for this is twofold.

Additional defective airbags recalled in Kansas City, MO

Kansas City, Missouri, victims of defective products should be aware of the rights and legal protections that exist for consumers. Regulators in the U.S. recently reported that another 30,687 airbag inflators were made with an incorrect part that causes the possibility of similar ruptures as the airbags that have already been recalled. One auto maker has added to its previous recall of SUVs because the vehicle model recalled may "[p]ropel metal fragments out of its air bags toward occupants." The latest announcement applies to newer vehicles. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported that airbags from June 2008 to June 2014 will be the subject of this latest recall. According to the information, "an incorrect outer baffle could cause the unit to rupture." The most recent recall appears to apply to two car makers.

The broader recall applies to vehicles manufactured from 2000 to 2008 which have already been linked to four deaths. The defect the subject of the most recent recall of 30,687 airbags differs from the one that previously caused 7.8 million vehicles in the U.S. to be recalled. The previous recall includes 10 auto makers and the auto part defect has received the attention of regulators because of its severity. Efforts to repair the defective airbags, produce enough repair parts and understand the full scope of the defect are underway. The company that made the airbags may face significant fines.

Driving under the influence of marijuana and other drugs

While exact numbers are difficult to ascertain due to inconsistent testing, according to the Nation Survey on Drug Use and Health over 10 million people took to the roads under the influence of an illicit drug in 2013. While it pales to the estimated 29 million people thought to have driven under the influence of alcohol the same year, 10 million represents a lot of avoidable accidents.

The United States seems to be slowly turning in favor of the legalization of marijuana. In Missouri there is already a bill for marijuana legalization under consideration by a State House panel. This means that in the near future Missouri may join the growing number of states that have legalized medical or recreational marijuana use. Already today Columbia and St. Louis have decriminalized the possession of small amounts of marijuana, issuing tickets and fines in lieu of jail time. While use of the drug may soon be approved, driving while under its influence currently carries with it a penalty of up to six months in jail for a first offense.

Trains collision sends over a dozen people to the hospital

Traditional passenger trains have almost become sort of a novelty in today's society. With the invention of airplanes and the modern passenger vehicle, trains have taken a back seat in transporting people from place to place. But trains are still one of the nation's most important avenues of transporting goods between cities and states. With such frequent use the safety of the U.S. rail lines and the trains that use them continues to be of the utmost importance.

44 people were injured when two trains collided head-on along the Arkansas & Missouri Railroad. The passengers were on a sightseeing excursion when their train stalled on the track for an as yet unknown reason. The railway accident occurred when a second train, which was sent to help the stalled train, failed to stop in time to avoid the first train.

Kansas City teen killed in accident with postal truck.

Every year, tens of thousands of people die while traveling in cars. This number isn't likely to decrease any time soon, as technology is increasingly being used as a distraction during a time when focus is essential. When people lose sight of how to properly drive, the risk for injury increases, creating a chance for the worst to happen. Those who make a living on the road need to be extra vigilant, as they have an increased chance of being involved in an accident.

A family is in mourning following the Saturday death of a 13-year-old on his way to a football game. The young man was riding in the car with his step-dad, a friend, and their two little brothers. While in an intersection, the four were struck by a Postal Service truck which may have failed to obey a stop sign. The boy was taken to the hospital, where he later succumbed to his injuries. All others in the car suffered minor injuries, while the driver of the postal truck was unharmed. The investigation of the car accident continues.

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