All drivers are required to follow the rules of the road at all times. If they don’t, and they hurt someone, they are responsible for the harms they cause. In Missouri, drivers are required to drive with the highest degree of care all the time and avoid distracted driving at all costs.
Driving rules are in effect for a person’s safety. Safety rules should NEVER be violated. For instance, there are some rules that are “Whoopses” that people have every day. “Whoops” I forgot to put out the cat. That might cause the cat some stress, but nobody else is going to be hurt by this faux pas. But safety rules are in effect for the purpose of protecting us, our children, our spouses, our parents, our community.
When drivers violate safety rules, they needlessly endanger everyone on the road. The simplest, and possibly the most important driving safety rule is keeping a careful lookout. Every driver should be carefully looking ahead and behind while driving to avoid collisions. That means every moment away from careful lookout is a serious violation of a safety rule. How many times do you see people looking down at their phone while they are driving? Distracted driving is a serious breach of the safety rule to keep a careful lookout.
There are many dangers of distracted driving. I have deposed many defendants over the years who claim that the person who they rear ended “stopped short” or stopped without warning. What I have learned is that it appeared to the defendant they stopped quickly because they were distracted, or looked away (i.e. they failed to keep a careful lookout) and when they looked back to the road, the traffic was stopped in front of them and there was no time to stop or swerve to avoid the collision.
Our job as plaintiff attorneys is to enforce these safety violations. Our practice is built on the notion that injuries that occur from the blatant violations of these rules should be aggressively pursued. This serves the client’s best interest and it also serves to provide general safety to the community. For instance, there is no doubt that without serious repercussions, most trucking companies would not follow safety rules related to speed, gross vehicle weight and hours of service. Companies can maximize their profits by violating these rules. Companies are profit driven, so if there are stiff civil penalties for violating those rules, they will eventually begin to follow them.
Remember to follow all safety when you are driving. Resist the temptation to check Facebook, text a friend, file a pesky hang nail, put on lipstick, swat a fly, look at the boats as you cross the bridge at the lake, take in a beautiful sunset, kiss your date or eat ice cream. Remember when you are driving at 60 mph, you operate a 2 ton piece of machinery at the rate of 88 feet per second, therefore every second counts. Be safe out there!