The Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) and the Missouri Coalition for Roadway Safety are challenging everyone in the state to wear their seat belts and put down their phones when driving. Friday, October 20, 2017, has been designated as “Buckle Up/Phone Down Day” (http://www.modot.org/BuckleUpPhoneDown/).
“We’re experiencing a high number of fatalities again this year,” said MoDOT Highway Safety and Traffic Engineer Nicole Hood. “The simple tasks of buckling everyone in the vehicle and choosing not to use your phone while driving can help save your life, the lives of your passengers, and occupants of other vehicles.”
Missouri currently has a “no texting” law for drivers under 21 years old, but the “Buckle Up/Phone Down Day” promotion is encouraging drivers of all ages to honor the law. The negative consequences of cell phone usage while driving are alarming:
- Texting while driving increases the risk of an accident by 50%
- A driver who is texting is 23 times more likely to be involved in a critical incident
- Cell phones contributed to 2,242 accidents in Missouri in 2015, an increase of 17%
Only nine states rank lower in the use of seat belts than Missouri, despite overwhelming statistical evidence of their safety benefits:
- 63% of Missouri vehicle drivers and passengers killed in traffic accidents were unbuckled
- Odds of a driver dying in a car accident:
- Unbelted – 1 in 30
- Belted – 1 in 1,237
- 19% of observed unbelted motorists account for 62% of Missouri roadway fatalities
Wearing your seat belt and putting away your cell phone are two of the simplest ways to drastically increase your odds of completing your car trip safely. This may seem obvious to some, but it is good to see the Missouri Department of Transportation continue to drive the point home (pun intended). If you have been involved in a car or truck accident, please contact Shamberg, Johnson & Bergman for a free consultation. We only receive a fee in the event of a successful resolution of your case.