May 2011 Archives

Cape Girardeau Missouri Personal Injury Law Firm and Station KFVS 12 Co-sponsor "Heartland's Best Teachers"

Thumbnail image for 14627994_BG1.jpgThe Cape Girardeau Law Firm of Aaron Sachs & Associates, P.C. in partnership with TV station KFVS 12, is proud to sponsor The Heartland's Best Teachers for the second year in a row.

A banquet of recognition for the selected teachers will take place this Saturday, June 4, starting at 11:30 a.m. The University Center of Southeast Missouri State University will be the location of the banquet. Banterra Bank is another one of the sponsors.

Heartland's Best Teachers is an annual event for KFVS 12.They seek to honor those teachers who go "above and beyond" to our state's children. Each year at the banquet, many local valedictorians speak of the impact that "special teacher" made on their lives. Poplar Bluff Personal Injury Lawyers know that most of these teachers never get the praise or recognition that they deserve, which is why we are so proud to be a part of this wonderful annual event.

The Cape Girardeau car accident lawyers at the Aaron Sachs Law Firm have a special place in their hearts for the children of Missouri as well, and frequently participate in community service programs involving children, such as their ongoing bicycle helmet giveaway.

Cape Girardeau Personal Injury Attorneys Invite You to Meet Heartland's Best Teachers for 2011...

Andrea Stanfield -- Gideon Elementary, Gideon
Beverly Claybrooks -- Fulton Co. Elementary, Hickman
Misty Wiseman -- Oak Grove, Poplar Bluff
Roger McCaghron -- Qulin Middle, Qulin
Fran Wachter -- Creal Springs, Creal Springs
Stephanie Bristow -- Malden Elementary, Malden
Gena Karnes -- Concord Elementary, Concord
Marie McMillen -- South Marshall Middle, Benton Ky.
Mary Kutz -- St. Vincent High, Perryville
Angela Gordon - Egyptian, Tamms
Nicole LaRue -- Ste. Genevieve Middle, Ste. Genevieve
Tammy Fulenwider -- Woodland R-IV, Marble Hill

Continue reading "Cape Girardeau Missouri Personal Injury Law Firm and Station KFVS 12 Co-sponsor "Heartland's Best Teachers" " »

70-Mile Ride to Help Reduce Risks of Motorcycle Accidents in Southeast Missouri

Motorcycle riders from the Bootheel and all over Southeast Missouri headed west recently in the hopes of raising awareness and decreasing the number of motorcycle accidents in in Southeast Missouri and elsewhere in the state this summer. More than 500 riders from all over Missouri came out for this year's event. A 70-mile ride, beginning and ending in Springfield, took riders through the towns of Nixa, Willard and Republic to help raise awareness of motorcyclists on our roadways.

344595_motorbikes_.jpg Our Cape Giradeau motorcycle accident lawyers urge motorists to consider everyone traveling on our roadways as motorcyclists often get overlooked by other motorists. The riding event is held every year in the spring as that is the time when motorist can expect to begin to see more motorcycles on the road. Motorcycle accidents with cars typically result in serious or fatal injuries to the rider. More than half the time the driver of the passenger vehicle is at fault.

The theme of this year's ride was "Can You See Me Now?" The riders organized and titled this event after there were more than 2,000 accidents involving motorcyclists in Missouri in 2010. Nearly 100 of those accidents were deadly, according to American Motorcyclist Association (AMA).

A four-year, $3 million study being sponsored by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), aims to look deeper into the causes of motorcycle crashes. Oklahoma State University, through the Oklahoma Transportation Center in Stillwater, Oklahoma, is conducting the survey. It is the first major study into the main causes of motorcycle accidents since 1981, according to BikeWorld.

The Motorcycle Safety Foundation offers tips that every driver know about motorcycles:

-Motorcyclists, often times, seem to be traveling faster than they actually are. This can be credited to the small size of their vehicle. Truth is, they're probably not. Don't assume that all motorcyclists are speed demons.

-Motorcyclists often slow down by downshifting instead of hitting the brakes. Downshifting does not activate a brake light. For this reason, drivers should allow more distance between them and a motorcycle when following behind in traffic.

-Be aware of motorcyclists in your blind spots. Because of their small size, they can often get lost in your line of vision. Be sure to be extra cautious of motorcyclists when changing lanes and at intersections.

-Because of their small size, motorcycles often appear to be farther away than they actually are. This can also make it difficult to judge their speed. Always assume that a motorcycle is closer than it appears to be.

-When a motorcycle is in motion, don't think of it as a motorcycle, view it as a person.

-The stopping distance is just about the same for motorcycles as it is for cars. Difference is, they can't stop on slippery roads as easily, as sliding is common for them. Follow at a safe distance as they can't stop as easily as you may be able to.

-While motorcycles have excellent maneuvering abilities, they often adjust their position in lanes to avoid debris and wind from passing vehicles. Understand that these drivers are zigzagging for a purpose and not to be reckless.

-Remember that turn signals on motorcycles are not self-canceling like those on most motor vehicles. Sometimes they may forget to turn them off. Make sure their signal is for real when traveling near these riders.

-Don't ignore them -- and don't crowd them. Practice extra caution, especially at intersections and when changing lanes.

Continue reading "70-Mile Ride to Help Reduce Risks of Motorcycle Accidents in Southeast Missouri" »

U.S. Sees Decrease in Fatal Accidents -- Officials Hope to see the same For Southeast Missouri Car Accidents

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that the number of motor vehicle accidents nationwide has declined for the fourth year in a row. The United States also experienced the lowest number of traffic fatalities in 2009 since 1949. We've seen an 8.9 percent decrease from 2008 to 2009 and another 3 percent decrease from 2009 to 2010.

Our Cape Girardeau and New Madrid personal injury lawyers urge drivers to continue to practice safe driving habits as the last two quarters of 2010 showed a slight increase in vehicle accidents. Primary causes for car crashes include drunk driving, speeding and distracted driving. Officials believe the increase is directly related to the recovering economy. Previous studies show that traffic trends often mimic economic trends. While we all hope the economic recovery continues, an increased risk of car accidents in Missouri's Heartland will likely result.
774605_car_accident_2.jpg
Officials credit other influences for the decreasing number of accidents. Some would argue that the increased visibility of traffic enforcement, new laws banning distracted driving and more wide-spread seat belt laws are causes for the accident decrease. Officials hope to continue to reduce the number of car accidents in Jackson, Charleston, Cape Girardeau and elsewhere in Southeast Missouri even as the nation experiences what we all hope is a sustained economic recovery.

"We've worked hard to make sure drivers are getting our 'Click it or Ticket' and 'Over the Limit, Under Arrest' messages," noted Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood in his blog. "I have been on a personal tear to raise awareness about distracted driving."

According to the NHTSA, the U.S. saw one of the lowest fatality rates in history last year, with 1.16 deaths for every 100 million vehicle miles traveled. The Administrations stated that the decrease in fatalities for 2010 occurred even though there was an estimated increase of nearly 21 billion miles in national vehicle miles traveled.

"The decrease in traffic fatalities is a good sign, but we are always working to save lives," said NHTSA Administrator David Strickland. "NHTSA will continue pressing forward on all of our safety initiatives to make sure our roads are as safe as they can possibly be."

According to a report by the NHTSA, specific to Missouri, the state saw close to 900 traffic accident fatalities in 2009. Roughly 300 of those fatalities involved a driver with a blood alcohol content over the legal limit of .08.

As we head into the spring season, travelers will begin making their vacation plans. With each passing week, the traffic on our roads will increase. Motorists are encouraged to drive safely and alertly and to do all they can to ensure they reach their destination safely.

Continue reading " U.S. Sees Decrease in Fatal Accidents -- Officials Hope to see the same For Southeast Missouri Car Accidents" »

Southeast Missouri Car Accidents a Danger as Spring Driving Season gets Under Way

A Bootheel man was killed in a Stoddard County crash when he was struck by an eastbound vehicle entering Highway 153, the Southeast Missourian reported.

Our Perryville personal injury lawyers remind motorists to practice caution behind the wheel as the spring and summer driving season gets under way. Good driving habits can help make a difference in lowering accident statistics and can help to keep our locals and visitors safe. Careless and imprudent driving can lead to serious and fatal accidents in Missouri's Heartland and elsewhere. With summer fast approaching, motorists will be at increased risk for car accidents in Dexter, New Madrid, Perryville and throughout Southeast Missouri.
332864_car_accident_5.jpg
In other news, a Jackson car crash claimed the life of a 48-year-old man after a rollover accident, the Southeast Missourian reported.

Many times, a motorist is victimized by an inattentive or drunk driver. To be sure, not all Missouri car crashes can be avoided. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, motorists nationwide were involved in more than 10 million crashes last year, injuring more than 2.35 million vehicle occupants. There were nearly 50,500 vehicles involved in accidents resulting in fatalities. These fatal accidents took the lives of more than 25,000 passenger-vehicle occupants.

Missouri saw 960 fatalities in 2008, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Safety campaigns to reduce the dangers include installing red-light camera systems at busy intersections, campaigning for text free driving and enforcing new speed limits.

The Missouri State Highway Patrol offers drivers these safe driving tips:

-Pay attention. As Missouri traffic crash reports indicate, the most common contributors to crashes are inattention, failing to yield, following too close and traveling too fast for conditions.

-Be careful in bad weather. When the roads are snow-covered or icy, the risk of being in a traffic crash increases dramatically. Patience is a key to staying safe while driving through bad weather. Spring and summer rains can also be dangerous. An estimated 42 million drivers are expected to be on the road this season. Be sure to prepare yourself for longer driving times, more traffic and occasional bad weather.

-Look out for holiday traffic. Many will occupy our roadways during popular traveling seasons, like the summer time, Memorial Day weekend and Fourth of July. Troopers are typically out in full force during these times, double checking to make sure drivers are abiding by the law. Buckle up!

-Windshield wipers and lights. Remember that in the state of Missouri, your headlights must be on if your windshield wipers are in use.

-Keep an emergency kit in the trunk, including battery booster cables, an ice scraper, a flashlight, tire chains and blankets. Plan ahead and get your car checked out before making a long trip. Have a mechanic check your lights, brakes, oil, tires, heater, battery, defroster, wipers and fluid levels.

-Avoid impaired driving. Make sure your plans are set ahead of time. Find a designated driver, find an alternative way home or book a hotel room. Getting yourself arrested -- or killed -- should be last on your list of holiday events.

Continue reading "Southeast Missouri Car Accidents a Danger as Spring Driving Season gets Under Way" »

Jackson Missouri Catastrophic Injury Victims Find Support and Financial Assistance

smahed cars.jpgThe Jackson Missouri Catastrophic Injury attorneys at Aaron Sachs and Associates see all too many victims of life destroying accidents in their Cape Girardeau office. In many cases, these devastating injuries are the result of an car crash or semi-truck accident, but can have other causes as well, such as a fall or freak accident.

A catastrophic injury is one that has serious, long term effects, often including the necessity for Social Security Disability benefits. Unfortunately, the Social Security System is notoriously difficult to navigate, frequently requiring assistance from an experienced Cape Girardeau Missouri Social Security Disability law firm.

Here are just some of the various types of Jackson MO catastrophic injuries:

• Spinal Cord Injuries
• Limbs amputated, or the necessity to amputate following the injury itself
• Closed Brain Injuries (also known as traumatic brain injuries)
• Sever (3rd Degree) Burns
• Organ Removal/Transplant
• Paraplegia or Quadriplegia

As a Kennet Catastrophic Injury law firm, we feel an obligation not just to represent catastrophic injury victims in claims to receive the compensation and benefits they are entitled to, but also to serve this community in any way we can.

We have compiled this list of resources for the victims and families of catastrophic injury. We know you need all the support you can get, including financial, legal and emotional/spiritual.

  • If you have no medical coverage, the Partnership for Prescription Assistance can help you find access to free medications. This is a completely free service as well.
  • The Paralyzed Veterans of America provides a book called On the Move: A Financial Guide for Persons with Spinal Cord Injury. This incredibly helpful resource contains information about financial planning, benefits that are available to you which you might not be aware of, and tips to adapt your home for a paralyzed individual.
  • Easter Seals: Medical Rehabilitation--Rehabilitation services provided upon referral from a physician, other agent, subject to state and federal requirements. Easter Seals provides exceptional services, education, outreach, and advocacy so that people living with disabilities can live, learn, work and play in our communities.

Continue reading "Jackson Missouri Catastrophic Injury Victims Find Support and Financial Assistance " »

Missouri State Highway Patrol Participating in Operation Care (Combined Accident Reduction Effort) to Decrease Auto Accidents this Memorial Day Weekend

Southeast Missouri is gearing up for the first holiday weekend of the year--Memorial Day Weekend. From Cape Girardeau to Poplar Bluff, in Sikeston and Charleston, Kennet and Van Buren and all over the southeast Missouri area--people are planning picnics and barbecues. They will be visiting family and enjoying Missouri's many lakes and rivers. Hopefully they are also planning defensive driving, and using designated drivers to reduce the potential of fatal car accidents as well.

1217936_flag.jpgSoutheast Missouri Auto Accident Lawyers remind all Missourians that last year during Memorial Day weekend, there were six fatalities and 440 citizens injured in whopping total of 1,010 traffic crashes. Do you realize that amounts to one person killed or injured in an auto accident or truck accident every 10.5 minutes?

Missouri State Highway Patrol reports that the main contributing factors in all these Missouri car crashes were distracted driving, speeding, and failing to yield the right-of-way. The Patrol will start this year's fatality counting period for Memorial Day Weekend, 2011, at 6 p.m., Friday, May 27, 2011. As Poplar Bluff Personal Injury Attorneys, we can't help but be saddened by the need to have a "fatality counting period."

State Troopers Out in Force to Reduce Southeast Missouri Car Crashes and Traffic Fatalities

Over this holiday weekend, our dedicated State Troopers will be on the road enforcing traffic laws and assisting motorists. Troopers taking part in this enforcement project will be alert for all traffic offenses that lead to auto accidents, and be on the lookout for lack of safety belt use, aggressive driving behavior and of course--drunk driving.

The Missouri State Highway Patrol urges Southeast Missouri drivers to think about safety when making plans for the upcoming holiday weekend.

"Holidays should be enjoyed, but enjoyed responsibly. Be aware of construction along your route, pay attention while you are driving, and buckle up. If alcohol is part of your holiday, make sure driving a vessel or vehicle is not."

Continue reading "Missouri State Highway Patrol Participating in Operation Care (Combined Accident Reduction Effort) to Decrease Auto Accidents this Memorial Day Weekend" »

Missouri Department of Transportation Designates Week to Safety in Hopes of Reducing Risks of Railroad Accidents and Car Wrecks

The Missouri Department of Transportation has recently created various public service announcements in accordance with the National Operational Lifesaver Organization's "Getting There - Is It Worth Your Life?" campaign. According to an MoDOT news release, these PSAs are meant to shine light on the dangers that railroad crossings present to motorists and pedestrians. Residents are urged to follow all rail safety rules in an effort to reduce the risks of Missouri railroad crossing accidents.

Personal injury lawyers in Poplar Bluff, Cape Giradeau and elsewhere in Southeast Missouri know that more than 4,000 miles of railroad tracks and nearly 4,000 public highway-rail crossings in Missouri pose a threat to motorists. Accidents at railroad crossings typically result in catastrophic injuries or death. Everyone is urged to join this campaign and become familiar with the message of these PSAs to increase safety in and around railroad crossings throughout Missouri's Heartland.
655393_railroad_4.jpg
"With more than 4,000 miles of railroad track, 3,800 public crossings and 3,000 private crossings, rail safety is an important issue in Missouri," said Rod Massman, MoDOT's administrator of railroads. "We are stepping up our efforts to educate motorists about rail safety to reduce injuries and save lives."

The Department of Transportation announced that the week of April 25th has been declared rail safety week, according to The Republic. This is also when the PSA videos will become available to the public on the MoDOT YouTube channel.

Either a vehicle or a pedestrian is hit by a train every three hours in the United States. The Missouri State Highway Patrol, Missouri Operation Lifesaver and the Missouri Department of Transportation co-sponsor the week and will be supporting several ways to help educate Missourians about the importance of safe traveling near our railroad tracks.

MoDOT offers motorists and pedestrians these railroad safety tips:

-Never race a train to the crossing. Even if you tie, you lose.

-Don't allow yourself to get stuck on the tracks. Remember that the train is 3-feet wider than the tracks on each side.

-Expect a train to be on any track at any time.

-There may be more than one train crossing at a multiple track crossing. Always look out for a second train.

-Never drive through or around lowered railroad crossing gates. Not only is it illegal, it can be deadly.

-If your car stalls on the tracks quickly get away. Remember to move away from the tracks at a 45-degree angle, but in the direction the train is coming from so you have a reduced risk of being injured by flying debris.

-Be sure to cross tracks only at designated crossing areas.

-Stop your vehicle no closer than 15 feet from the railroad tracks.

-Keep in mind that freight trains cannot stop quickly. A train that's moving at 55 mph can take more than a mile to stop once the emergency brakes are applied.

Continue reading "Missouri Department of Transportation Designates Week to Safety in Hopes of Reducing Risks of Railroad Accidents and Car Wrecks" »

Prom and Graduation Increase Risk of Teen Car Accidents in Southeast Missouri

With spring upon us and summer waiting in the wings, teens are at increased risk of car crashes in Southeast Missouri.

Our car accident attorneys see an increase in local car wrecks in Cape Girardeau, Perryville , New Madrid, Charleston and elsewhere in Southeast Missouri through the prom and graduation season. Parents are encouraged to stay proactive when it comes to talking to their teenager about the risk. May is National Youth Traffic Safety Month and safety advocates nationwide will be pushing programs aimed at teaching teens about the dangers of making poor driving decisions.
160351_students_prom.jpg
Car wrecks are the leading cause of death for teens in Missouri's Bootheel and throughout the United States, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Those ages 15 to 19 are at the highest risk of being involved in a fatal accident with the exception of the nation's most elderly drivers -- those over the age of 75.

Each year, more than 5,000 teenagers are killed in traffic accidents. Teens are at high risk for every poor driving decision in the book, including speeding, drunk driving, distracted driving, failure to wear a seat belt and driving with too many passengers in the vehicle.

Safety advocates encourage you to get involved by:

-Encourage others to take action to increase awareness, including car dealers, mechanic shops, local law enforcement agencies and places frequently by teens, including fast food restaurants, schools and churches.

-Select a specific issue -- such as drunk driving -- to emphasize with your efforts in your community.

-Request proclamations from the mayor or other leaders in your community.

"For a lot of teens, this time of year is about kicking back, relaxing, and forgetting about responsibilities. But we all have a full-time responsibility when we get behind the wheel," said Elliot Johnson with the National Organizations for Youth Safety. "These programs are a great opportunity to put the focus back on safety while kids are still in school so that everybody can have a fun, safe summer."

Continue reading "Prom and Graduation Increase Risk of Teen Car Accidents in Southeast Missouri" »

Motorcycle Accidents are Back as Southeast Missouri Motorists Celebrate Spring

Spring seems to be southeast Missouri's favorite season. With the return of balmy weather, everyone is hitting the roads, including avid Cape Girardeau motorcyclists whose treasured bikes have been in the garage all winter long. Unfortunately, motorcycle accidents seem to be the unavoidable result. But are they really unavoidable?

Cape Girardeau personal injury lawyers
remind everyone that motorcyclists are much more vulnerable on the roads than car and truck drivers, whether wearing a helmet or not. Jackson, Delta, Kennett, Farmington and all southeastern Missouri residents want to keep their loved ones as safe as possible on the roads this spring season.

According to the Hurt Study:
"The failure of motorists to detect and recognize motorcycles in traffic is the predominating cause of motorcycle accidents. The driver of the other vehicle involved in collision with the motorcycle did not see the motorcycle before the collision, or did not see the motorcycle until too late to avoid the collision."

What can you do to help?


Here are some ways to drive more safely and avoid Cape Girardeau motorcycle accidents this year:

1. Always look left-right-left before pulling out of a driveway or making a turn, to spot any motorcycles near you.
2. Motorcycle accidents frequently happen because bikers slow down by downshifting, so there is no brake light to indicate they are slowing. Be aware when following a motorcycle and stay 3-4 seconds behind.
3. Never share a lane with a motorcycle, even if it is driving in the very far side of the lane and there is plenty of room. This is illegal!
4. Motorcycles are more susceptible to bad weather and high winds, so use extra caution under those type of circumstances.

Continue reading "Motorcycle Accidents are Back as Southeast Missouri Motorists Celebrate Spring" »

Flooding Increases Risk of Car Crashes in Southeast Missouri

The Daily Journal reports towns in Southeast Missouri continue to deal with the consequences of the historic spring floods, which have devastated the region.

In Morehouse, some 280 homes -- or about two-thirds of all residences -- sustained water damage. The Federal Emergency Management Agency is on the ground and promising disaster relief funding for residents of New Madrid County.
1155202_wavelets.jpg
Flood waters, downed power lines, standing water in roadways, washed out roads and other consequences of the floods increase the risk of car accidents in New Madrid and elsewhere in Missouri's Bootheel.

Our Charleston and New Madrid personal injury lawyers know we will get through the disaster the way we always have: with neighbors helping neighbors. However, the Missouri Highway Patrol is reminding residents that flash floods and standing water can be extremely dangerous. Property damage or repair may be the least of your worries as drowning and other serious injury risks are present whenever a motorist attempts to drive through standing water.

"The flooding situation in Southern Missouri has turned deadly," stated Col. Ron Replogle. "The Missouri State Highway Patrol has conducted approximately 18 water rescues in Troops E, D, and G and has recovered the bodies of two fatally injured subjects in the Troop G area since Friday. Both of these individual's vehicles were swept from low water crossings by swift moving water as they attempted to cross. Many of the roads in the southern portion of the state which are near or crossover waterways are still under water and should be considered impassable and extremely dangerous to cross."

-Barricades closing roads are in place for your own protection. It is dangerous and a violation of state law to drive around them.

-Never drive through fast-moving water. Even a small amount of fast moving water can sweep a vehicle off the roadway.

-If you vehicle becomes stuck in rising water, get out quickly and move to higher ground.

-State law requires motorists to use their headlights whenever their windshield wipers are on.

Continue reading "Flooding Increases Risk of Car Crashes in Southeast Missouri" »

Cape Girardeau Lawyer Raises Awareness Regarding the Latest Toyota Recall: RAV4 and Highlander Airbag Sensors Malfunction, Potentially Causing Southeast Missouri Auto Accidents


499655_land_cruiser.jpg According to Cape Girardeau lawyers, Toyota Motor Sales (TMS), U.S.A., Inc., is conducting a voluntary safety recall of some of Cape Girardeau, Kennett, Poplar Bluff and other Southeast Missouri drivers' most popular vehicles - namely their RAV4 and Highlanders from model years 2007 and 2008. The recall involves a defective airbag sensor assembly which might either malfunction in a traffic accident, or deploy inadvertently and actually cause a car accident. This latest safety recall involves approximately 214,000 RAV4 vehicles and approximately 94,000 Highlander and Highlander HV vehicles.

Southeast MO car accident lawyers advise all Missourians with those vehicles to bring their cars to the dealer as soon as possible. These vehicles are equipped with two sensors in the airbag sensor assembly - if they both fail simultaneously, the curtain shield airbag could be inadvertently activated, leading to a serious auto accident.

If only one malfunctions, the airbag warning light will illuminate and the roll detection system will be suspended; however, the airbag remains available in the event of a side impact collision.

As all personal injury attorneys are aware, injuries caused by malfunctioning airbags can be very dangerous or even fatal. It is unfortunate that a feature designed to save lives in case of a car crash can actually now cause one. Fortunately, no other Lexus or Toyota vehicles are involved in this recall.

Continue reading "Cape Girardeau Lawyer Raises Awareness Regarding the Latest Toyota Recall: RAV4 and Highlander Airbag Sensors Malfunction, Potentially Causing Southeast Missouri Auto Accidents" »

Missouri State Highway Patrol Launches New Anti-Texting Campaign to Reduce Risks in Cape Girardeau and Throughout Southeast Missouri Distracted Driving Car Accidents

The Missouri State Highway Patrol has launched a new safety campaign in Cape Girardeau and across Missouri aimed at curbing distracted driving. The campaign will provide stickers with the campaign logo for all local Patrol vehicles. By targeting texting while driving, the Missouri campaign aims to reduce the risks of car accidents in Cape Girardeau, Sikeston, Kennett, Popular Bluff and elsewhere in Southeast Missouri. Cape Girardeau attorney, Aaron Sachs is hopeful that this campaign will raise awareness to a growing safety issue - texting while driving.

"Inattention is a leading cause of traffic crashes," said Colonel Replogle. "If you're focused on sending a text message, then you aren't paying attention to your driving. Cell phone usage -- particularly texting while driving can lead to tragic consequences. These consequences are easily preventable if drivers would simply put down their phones and focus on the road."
DWT.JPG
Our Ste. Genevieve personal injury lawyers urge residents to join the fight against distracted driving, which can increase your risk for a local car accident. As technology continues to advance, in-car distractions increase as well. It is up to the driver of each vehicle to take responsibility as Missouri currently has no laws banning texting while driving if you're over the age of 21.

The campaign shines light on Missouri's current anti-texting law, effective Aug. 28, 2009, that prohibits drivers under the age of 21 from texting while operating a motor vehicle, according to Col. Replogle. Others point out that common sense and voluntary compliance will always be more valuable.

"It's not like we have roadblocks to check on people that are texting," said Mike Right, a spokesman for AAA Missouri. "The benefit of having it in the statute is voluntary compliance, sort of like every other law."

Missouri is one of 38 states in the country to create anti-texting legislation but one of a dwindling few that has not more aggressively applied the law to all drivers. The debate continues in the legislature. While our younger drivers have the highest proportion of distracted driving related accidents, officials ask that all drivers put down their phone while driving.

Nearly 5,500 motorists were killed and an additional 448,000 suffered injuries in the United States in 2009 from motor vehicle accidents that reportedly were related to distracted driving, according to Distraction.gov.

The Missouri State Highway Patrol reports that the state experienced nearly 2,000 traffic accidents that involved cell phone usage by a driver in 2009. The first half of 2010 reportedly witnessed nearly 800 traffic crashes involving cell phone using drivers, resulting in nearly 10 fatalities and more than 200 injuries. All forms of distracted driving caused more than 17,500 accidents in the same time frame.

Here are some safe driving tips, provided by www.drivingtips.org, that can help to reduce your distracted driving risks:

-Keep safety as a first priority while behind the wheel. Your safety should be more important than checking your text messages, answering your phone or messing with the radio. It may take constant self-reminders, but it's worth it. Concentrate on arriving at your destination safely.

-Pull over to get directions. Whether you're using a paper map or a digital GPS system, it is important to pull over and stop your vehicle before looking at either as they both require you to take your focus off the road.

-Put you cell phone and other hand-held devices out of reach, either in the glove box or in the back seat. If you keep them away, you may be less likely to become distracted with them.

-Make sure you're entire focus can be placed on driving. It's just as dangerous to jump behind the wheel if you're tired, aggravated or upset. Distracted driving involves many factors. Be sure your mental state of mind is clear and focus before hitting the road.

Continue reading "Missouri State Highway Patrol Launches New Anti-Texting Campaign to Reduce Risks in Cape Girardeau and Throughout Southeast Missouri Distracted Driving Car Accidents" »