Is It Illegal to Text and Drive in Missouri?
Although every driver should know that it is dangerous to text while driving, many continue to do so, often leading to devastating collisions. In the time it takes to send or read a text, a driver can travel the length of a football field without even looking at the road, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). More than 3,100 people died in wrecks caused by distracted driving across the U.S. in a single recent year.
Because texting while driving is so hazardous, many states, including Missouri, have enacted laws to crack down on this risky behavior. Although Missouri’s rules are not as strict as those in some states, an individual caught texting while driving in Missouri can face fines and other penalties.
Cellphone and Texting Restrictions in Missouri
Under Missouri law, anyone 21 or younger is prohibited from sending, reading, or writing a text message while driving. Furthermore, regardless of age, anyone operating a semi-truck or another commercial vehicle is not allowed to send, read, or write a text message while behind the wheel. Commercial vehicle operators are also prohibited from talking on a cell phone while driving.
There are a few exceptions to the texting-while-driving law, including:
- Authorized emergency vehicles
- Anyone using their phone to report a crime
- Anyone using their phone to summon emergency medical services
- Anyone using their phone to prevent injury to a person or property
- A commercial vehicle operator talking to their dispatcher, as long as their phone or other communication device is permanently affixed to the vehicle’s interior
- Anyone using a handheld wireless device to make a phone call while driving, except for commercial operators
Is There a Fine for Texting and Driving?
If you are found guilty of violating Missouri’s texting-while-driving law, you could face fines of up to $200 and have two points assessed against your Missouri driver’s license. While these penalties might not seem harsh, points against your license could eventually cost you your driving privileges. Motorists might also face increased insurance premiums due to texting-while-driving infractions
If you are texting and driving and cause an accident in which someone is injured or killed, you could face stiff penalties.
If a texting driver causes a car accident, they could be held liable in civil court for the resulting damages. That is true regardless of whether they face charges for breaking Missouri’s texting-while-driving law.
How Can Texting While Driving Affect Your Car Insurance?
While driving safely should be the main reason to avoid texting while driving, you should know that this risky behavior could affect your auto insurance premiums. If you break the texting-while-driving law, your insurance company could increase your premiums.
Have You Been Injured in a Missouri Distracted Driving Accident?
If a texting driver injured you, you could be entitled to significant compensation for your injuries and other losses. The distracted driving accident lawyers at Sumner Law Group, LLC, are here to help you seek answers and justice.
Contact us today for a free consultation to discuss your rights.
Brent A. Sumner is the Managing Partner at Sumner Law Group, LLC. He focuses his practice exclusively on cases that involve serious personal injuries. Over the years, he has successfully represented thousands of individuals and families, recovering millions of dollars in compensation for injured accident victims.