A new report released by the National Safety Council puts Missouri dead last in its "State of Safety" ranking, with an "F" grade. The rankings are based on safety regulations at home, at work, on the roadway, and in the community. Most of the reasons for Missouri's poor placement are traffic-related. Missouri does not have a law requiring seat belt usage, does not require ignition interlock devices for first-time alcohol-related offenders, and is only one of three states that does not ban texting and driving.
Take Safety into Your Own Hands
Remember-although Missouri doesn't have these laws in place, following NSC recommendations like always wearing your seat belt (and not drinking while driving) can save your life. Not convinced? A driver with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.10 or greater, just 0.02 above the legal limit, is seven times more likely to be involved in a fatal motor vehicle crash than a driver who has no alcohol in his or her system. Texting and driving is equally dangerous. The NSC reports that cell phone use while driving leads to 1.6 million crashes every year. And while the benefits of seat belt use are now fairly well-known, you may not know that wearing one reduces your risk of death by 45%.
You've read these statistics and probably heard similar ones in your lifetime. Hopefully, that means you're much less likely to participate in dangerous driving activities.
The unfortunate part of traffic safety, however, is that your well-being doesn't depend on your actions alone. Living in a state ranked dead last in safety may put you at risk of being a victim of other drivers who make poor decisions, because they are not required by law to make good ones. Unfortunately, the odds are that you'll get in a car crash at some point in your life, regardless of your safe driving practices.
If You're Hurt by Someone Else
The property damage and injuries that come from an auto accident range from minor to life-changing. Either way, an accident will most likely be costly.
If another driver hit you because of poor driving, you should contact an attorney to help protect you. A knowledgeable Kansas City auto accident attorney like the ones at Norton & Norfleet, P.C., can help you prove that the other driver was negligent, and that he or she is liable for any damages.
Taking personal responsibility for your driving and knowing when to call an expert for help are the two most important ways to defend yourself out on the road. In the meantime, we hope that Missouri lawmakers will push to make our state safer for everyone.