If you have been involved in an accident with someone who was texting and driving, you deserve to be compensated for any resulting injuries and damages.
It is illegal for anyone in the state of Missouri to text while driving if they are under 21 years old or they are driving in a commercial vehicle. There are also very specific conditions that need to be in place for anyone who is driving to use their cell phone when driving.
Missouri is one of the few states that bans the use of cellphones when driving only for those under the age of 21 or under certain circumstances. Individuals under 21 who are driving while texting are breaking the law and may possibly incur criminal charges, especially if they are in an accident and someone is severely hurt or even killed. Texting while driving is considered wanton and reckless, so if you are in a car accident and kill someone, it is possible for you to face criminal homicide charges; this is the case for drivers under the age of 21 and even those who are older.
The Dangers of Texting and Driving
According to the National Safety Council, cell phone use is indicated in as many as 1.6 million auto accidents each year. Nearly 330,000 injuries are sustained in accidents, specifically where the driver is distracted by texting. That means that one of every four collisions in America is due to someone texting and driving. Although other states have made texting by anyone a criminal offense, Missouri has still not made this a law for everyone.
The reason that Missouri singles out teens is that 11 teenagers lose their lives to texting while driving every day in the United States. 94% of teenage drivers understand the dangers of distracted driving and texting, but 35% of them admit that they do it anyway. Additionally, 21% of teenage drivers who die in car accidents are killed due to someone texting while driving. That means that teenage drivers are more than four times more likely than an adult to get into a car crash when they are texting behind the wheel or otherwise using their cell phone.
So, if you are 21 or under and text while driving, then yes, you can be charged with a criminal offense. Even if you are over the age of 21 and are found to be texting while driving and you get into a car accident, if there is a fatality, then you might run the risk of being charged with wanton or reckless conduct and face criminal charges.
If you have been involved in an accident with someone who was texting and driving, you deserve to be compensated for any resulting injuries and damages. Speak with an experienced St. Louis car accident attorney ASAP to ensure your legal rights are protected.
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