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Little-Known Missouri Traffic Laws

Kansas City drivers may not know that they are breaking the law when they don’t buckle up behind the wheel, send a quick text while driving or forget to turn their lights on in the rain, but, as the saying goes, “ignorance of the law is no defense.” Not only can failure to comply with these laws can result not only in citations and fines, but possible civil liability if a motor vehicle accident should occur while a law is being broken.

What Are Some Lesser-Known Traffic Laws?

A big one that directly affects drivers in the Kansas City metro area is the requirement that drivers run their headlights whenever they are driving through rain, sleet or snow that requires the use of their windshield wipers. Not only does this law make it easier for others to see the vehicle during times of inclement weather – when visibility would otherwise be affected – it also ensures that the driver of each vehicle has the best possible view of the roadway. This is particularly important for fleet and employer-owned vehicles – if the driver fails to turn on the headlights during a storm and runs into another car, the owner could be subjected to liability for any accident-related injuries.

Another Missouri traffic law that could – if not complied with – expose drivers to a citation, a possible injury and civil liability is the requirement that drivers take special caution when coming upon a stationary emergency vehicle with red and/or blue flashing lights. Whether it be a police car or ambulance, drivers must proceed with caution and yield the right of way to these vehicles, moving over into another lane to give extra distance between them and the stationary emergency vehicle, when possible. If giving an extra-lane cushion is not possible, the driver must reduce speed and proceed with due caution. Failure to follow this rule could result in a serious automobile accident resulting in serious injury or death.

In this day and age, drivers also need to make sure that they are in compliance with all laws about using electronic communications devices behind the wheel. Missouri – like most other states – has laws prohibiting texting while behind the wheel. The laws here are currently only applicable to drivers under the age of 21. Older drivers can still be cited for distracted driving if their use of cell phones, texting or e-mailing behind the wheel draws enough of their attention to distract their focus away from the road.

Every driver in Missouri needs to be aware of the rules of the road, particularly those that could result in civil or criminal liability. If you are injured in a motor vehicle accident, you need to speak with an experienced Kansas City personal injury attorney to learn more about your legal rights and options.