Technological advances often have their fair share of unfortunate byproducts. As too many people in Missouri know well, inattentive drivers who use cellphones and other handheld devices behind the wheel pose a major threat to the safety of those on the road. Numerous studies have shown the increased risk of drivers taking their eyes off the road for even just a few seconds. That is why the Missouri Department of Insurance have asked people – especially young drivers – to put it in writing that they will no longer participate in distracted driving.
The Missouri Highway Patrol reports that last spring, distracted driving was responsible for 7,000 car accidents. Of those, 17 led to fatalities. With those numbers in mind, the Missouri Department of Insurance has put together a driving contract that parents can discuss with teenage drivers. The document features a number of items that parents and teens can discuss, agree to and check off to promote better, more responsible driving.
The contract takes that responsibility a step further, including options that discuss about teenage behavior in general. The agreement opens the door for conversation about the ways teens conduct themselves at home, while with friends and at school.
As April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month, it seems appropriate that the contract would be introduced now. However, the behavior happens year-round and can have serious consequences. In a matter of seconds, a close call can turn into a tragedy. Anyone who has been injured or lost a loved one as the result of someone else’s distracted driving should contact an attorney.