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St. Louis Roads and Ringing Phones: The Impact of Cell Phones on Car Accidents



As technology increasingly integrates into our lives, cell phone use has become ubiquitous, extending even to behind the wheel. In St. Louis, Missouri, where the Gateway Arch stands tall, the prevalence of cell phone-related car accidents is a growing concern. 

In this blog post, we’ll explore the impact of cell phone use on road safety. Additionally, we’ll delve into the legal landscape surrounding distracted driving and the measures being taken to address this issue in the heart of the Midwest.

The Rise of Distracted Driving

Research by Caird et al. indicates that approximately 135,300 drivers in the United States manipulate handheld devices simultaneously. Furthermore, the data indicates that drivers are 23 times more likely to be involved in a crash while texting. 

The allure of a buzzing notification or a quick glance at a map can divert drivers’ attention, contributing to a concerning surge in accidents. Additionally, engaging in activities like texting, calling, or scrolling through social media while driving constitutes distracted driving. These behaviors pose serious risks to everyone sharing the road.

According to the Missouri Coalition for Roadway Safety, distracted driving has resulted in the loss of 72 lives in the state in a recent year. Over a five-year period, a total of 407 fatalities were attributed to distracted driving. 

Additional data from the Missouri State Highway Patrol Statistical Analysis Center reported 1,192 distracted driving accidents in a single year. These accidents resulted in nine fatalities and 675 injuries. Among these incidents, the primary cause for both fatal and injury crashes was the use of handheld devices. 

Similar to many cities across the nation, St. Louis faces the challenges posed by the repercussions of distracted driving. From 2016 to 2020, eleven fatalities in St. Louis were directly attributed to distracted driving. Notably, St. Louis County’s distracted driving crash rate reached 18.6 per 1,000 residents. 

In addressing the aftermath of such accidents, seeking the assistance of St. Louis personal injury lawyers becomes crucial. These legal professionals possess specialized expertise in navigating the complex landscape of personal injury claims. 

TorHoerman Law notes that with a deep understanding of the intricacies involved, they provide invaluable support and guidance to individuals affected by driving incidents. 

Legal Consequences in Missouri

Missouri, one of only two states without a comprehensive texting and driving ban, had imposed penalties specifically for drivers aged 21 or younger. Those caught texting and driving in this age group faced a $200 fine and two points on their license.

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However, for drivers 22 years old and older, texting and driving was not considered an offense unless holding a CDL or commercial driver’s license. Recent data from the Missouri Department of Transportation revealed that 70% of drivers using cell phones in crashes were 22 years old or older. 

In response, Missouri has taken steps to address distracted driving by enacting the Siddens Bening Hands-Free Law this year.

The Siddens Bening Hands-Free Law prohibits individuals from utilizing electronic communication devices for various activities while driving on highways or public roads in Missouri. 

Starting on August 28, 2023, the legislation no longer includes communications conducted using hands-free or voice-operated functions. While in operation, the restrictions apply, but they do not extend to times when the driver is lawfully stopped or parked. Enforcement of the statute by law enforcement officers will commence on January 1, 2025. 

The Impact on Car Accidents

The undeniable correlation between cell phone use and car accidents is evident in St. Louis, the second-largest city in Missouri. Despite having the least amount of traffic congestion among America’s 20 largest metro areas, St. Louis still experiences over 15,000 traffic crashes annually. Many of these accidents are attributed to distracted driving. 

Addressing the Issue

Recognizing the severity of the issue, both local and state authorities in St. Louis are taking steps to address distracted driving. Educational campaigns, increased law enforcement presence, and community initiatives aim to raise awareness about the dangers of cell phone use behind the wheel. 

Additionally, technological solutions, such as hands-free devices and apps that discourage phone use while driving, are being promoted to mitigate distractions.


In the shadow of the iconic Gateway Arch, St. Louis faces the challenges posed by the intersection of technology and road safety. As the city works towards fostering safer roads, the impact of cell phone use on car accidents remains a critical concern. 

Addressing the issue of distracted driving is essential for ensuring the well-being of everyone navigating the streets of St. Louis. This can be achieved through legislative measures, public awareness campaigns, or technological innovations. 

It’s a shared responsibility to keep our eyes on the road and our phones out of our hands, contributing to safer journeys for all.

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