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Missouri behind the times in addressing distracted drivers

In the next 50 years the world is sure to change. One likely improvement will be the use of computerized automobile transportation that operates without the aid of humans. Because the vast majority of car accidents are caused by human error, implementation of such a system is likely to save thousands of lives every year. While the work on tomorrow's technology continues, there are still many way individuals and lawmakers alike can help make the streets safer to use.

Missouri is one of a few states that have not created comprehensive laws protecting drivers from distracted drivers. According to the government website, distracted driving constitutes any activity that diverts a person's attention away from the task of driving. This means that texting, putting on makeup, eating and even talking to a passenger can all create a distracted driver. Texting is considered one of the most distracting activities because it requires drivers to divert not only their eyes but their hands as well, which is why a large number of states outright ban the practice while driving.

Missouri does have a law on the books banning texting and driving, but it only applies to those drivers 21 years of age and younger and commercial drivers. Interestingly, commercial drivers are the only group of drivers also banned from using handheld cell phones.

The current lack of comprehensive laws covering distracted drivers may change as municipalities are not only creating and enforcing their own all-driver bans on texting while driving but are also pushing for statewide action.

Source: Distraction.gov, "What is distracted driving," accessed on Aug. 4, 2014

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