As of Monday, Oct. 8, 2018, 44 people have lost their lives in traffic crashes across Northwest Missouri. That number is 19 percent higher than the same time last year. Of those fatalities, 71 percent were unbuckled. That is much higher than the statewide rate of 61 percent. But even one death is too many, especially if they are preventable. Human error is found to be the cause in 94 percent of crashes.
Right now, Missouri’s “no texting” law only applies to drivers under 21 years old. Reported crashes involving cell phones rose 11 percent in 2016. When a driver is texting and driving they are 23 times more likely to be in a critical incident.
On Friday, Oct. 19, the Missouri Department of Transportation and the Missouri Coalition for Roadway Safety are asking people to take the Buckle Up Phone Down Challenge. The challenge is simple: when you get into any vehicle, buckle up your safety belt. If you are a driver, put the cell phone down. Turn it off if you have to. No texting and no talking unless hands free. Every trip. Every time. If you can, try it for just one day.
Learn more about the Buckle Up Phone Down Challenge, and consider signing up yourself or your business, at this website.