Legal Lens: How Missouri plans to stop distracted driving

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The Brown & Crouppen Legal Lens takes a closer look at everyday legal issues and gives you a better understanding of topics that may affect you.

ST. LOUIS — Distracted driving plays a big role in the number of traffic crashes, and MoDOT has come up with a plan called “Show Me Zero” to help stop that. Andrea McNairy, managing attorney at Brown & Crouppen, explains more in this week’s Legal Lens.

Has driving behavior changed so much we need to change the roads?

“Surprisingly yes, despite driving traffic decreasing 50% during the pandemic, traffic accidents have increased during that time,” McNairy said. “2020 was a bad year for accidents with a 12% increase in Missouri for accidents since 2007. So, less driving and more crashes.”

What is “Show Me Zero?”

“So, ‘Show Me Zero’ is in response to increase in car crashes in Missouri,” McNairy said. “It’s MoDOT’s initiative, and it highlights four areas, whether you’re a passenger or driver, to make Missouri roads safer for everyone.”

What are areas of focus?

“There are four areas of focus and protection,” McNairy said. “Buckle up every time you take a trip. Make sure the kids are buckled up. Twelve percent of drivers in Missouri do not use seatbelts, and those 12 percent account for over 40 percent injured in those car crashes. The second area is distracted driving. Drivers need to put phones down. Asking parents to show good behavior to their kids. Cutting down on speeding and aggressive driving and finally impaired driving. More than alcohol use, it’s also narcotics use. Medical marijuana, even sleep deprivation, can impair judgment behind the wheel.”

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