How to Stay Safe and Avoid Accidents on Missouri Roadways
Motorists know that Missouri roads can be treacherous. From congested highways to dangerous intersections, operators should always use caution, stay alert, and be focused on the road when driving in the state.
At Bishop & Hayes, our firm is dedicated to one type of law: auto accident recovery. Missouri has a high rate of car crashes, with many resulting in serious injury or death. Focusing our time and resources on auto injury law ensures that our clients receive the largest compensation allowed under state law.
If you are injured in a Missouri car accident, contact our office at (417) 862-5544 to book a free, no-obligation consultation. A partner with the firm handles all cases.
Driving Under the Influence Rules
From the initial process of obtaining your license to lesser-known rules of the road, all motorists must be aware of the driving requirements in the state. One of the most important rules to follow is never to drive while impaired.
If you injure or kill someone in a drunk driving accident, you may:
- Spend up to 7 years in jail;
- Pay a fine of up to $5,000; and
- Have your license suspended.
Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol is a serious offense in Missouri and can result in the suspension of your license, jail time, and a high fine. A person arrested on suspicion of driving while intoxicated (DWI) may face criminal penalties and administrative sanctions through the Missouri Department of Revenue.
If you are injured by someone driving while intoxicated by drugs or alcohol, you are likely entitled to compensation. It is strongly recommended that you consult with an experienced attorney immediately after the accident.
Slow Poke Driving
In Missouri, it is against the law for you to drive under the posted minimum speed limit unless there are adverse weather or road conditions. Referred to in the state driver guide as “slow poke” driving, Missouri motorists are required to drive at the speed limit and not block traffic.
Distracted driving may include:
- Responding to or sending emails;
- Using a cell phone;
- Eating or drinking;
- Talking with passengers; and
- Adjusting the radio.
By far, however, texting is one of the most dangerous and common activities that distract drivers. Despite the high fatality rate associated with cell phone use and texting, Missouri is one of only two states without a “no texting” law for all drivers. Only drivers 21 years of age or younger are prohibited from reading, writing, or sending a text message while driving.
Driving in Adverse Weather Conditions
Missouri winters can be harsh, bringing in ample amounts of rain, sleet, and snow. It is important to note that state law mandates that you use your headlights in any weather condition that requires the use of your windshield wipers.
All motorists should have either snow tires or chains. The Missouri Driver Guide also advises drivers not to use their vehicle’s cruise control system if there is snow or ice on the road.
Use of a Seat Belt
Seat belt requirements in Missouri are unique. As a side note, seat belts and child restraints are proven effective in preventing severe injury and death during car accidents. It is essential to follow all state seat belt guidelines and to ensure that all passengers are properly buckled for their safety.
Pursuant to state law, the driver and all front-seat occupants must wear a properly adjusted and fastened safety belt while operating or riding in a passenger vehicle. Additionally, a driver must ensure that any passenger under the age of 16 is wearing a seat belt or secured in a child passenger restraint system.
If you are involved in a car accident, it is vital to move yourself and your vehicle to safety unless you are incapacitated. In the event that someone is injured or killed as a result of the collision, law enforcement should be contacted immediately. A responder can dispatch for emergency medical services.
If another person was responsible for the accident, you might be entitled to compensation for your injuries. Even if you were partially to blame for the accident, you might still be able to recover money for your losses. You only have a limited amount of time to file a claim for damages. It is in your best interest to consult with an attorney as early as possible.
Contact Our Office for a Free Consultation
If you have been injured in a car accident, contact our office at (417) 862-5544 for a free, no-obligation consultation. There are no fees unless we win your case. Call today and get the personalized attention your case deserves. All accident cases are handled by a partner with the firm.