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Missouri Targets Distracted Drivers

We all know that drinking and driving will lead to a license suspension, but is DWD (driving while distracted) the next target for law enforcement?

The Missouri Department of Insurance has recently announced a comprehensive campaign focused on the dangers of driving while distracted. Public education will be attempted through social media and various other media. Distracted driving is dangerous and it should be frowned upon just as is drunk driving. They both lead to accidents, injuries and even fatalities. Don’t be surprised if in the near future, distracted driving also leads to a license suspension.

The recent focus on distracted driving poses an obvious question… What exactly is distracted driving?  A common definition is any activity that can divert attention from driving. Of course this includes texting, cell phone use, eating and drinking, or adjusting the radio. In my 16 years of selling insurance, I have yet to see anyone with a ticket for any of this activity (except in California).

Do you think DWD should also include driving with a dog on your lap? I haven’t heard anyone in the media or law enforcement publicly criticize grandma for driving around with a Rottweiler on her lap with his tongue flapping in the breeze. That sounds pretty distracting to me. I mean, you’re not allowed to drive with a child or another person on your lap are you?

Penalties for distracted driving don’t seem to be too clear right now. I expect enforcement to be increased and wouldn’t be surprised to see a license suspension for repeat offenders. Right now when you buy insurance, your MVR will show speeding tickets and other violations like running a red light. In the near future, we will probably start seeing DWD violations. All of these violations will affect the price of your insurance.

To keep your insurance costs low, keep your nose clean and your eyes on the road.

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