June 22, 2015

Department of Insurance reminds drivers to keep their eyes on the road during peak travel season

Summer is the peak travel season in Missouri

Jefferson City, Mo. - Two hundred four individuals were killed in automobile accidents during the summer of 2014 according to the Missouri State Highway Patrol. With summer being the peak travel season, the Missouri Department of Insurance reminds Missourians to keep their eyes focused on the road and to avoid distracted driving.

To reinforce the message of avoiding distracted driving, the department is visiting young drivers in summer school classrooms to discuss the importance of staying focused when driving. Last summer there were 188 fatal crashes and 2,153 people injured in crashes due to distracted driving. The department is also encouraging parents to lead by example by not driving distracted themselves through a new public service announcement.

"It's imperative we all do our part in keeping Missouri roadways safe," said Department of Insurance Director John M. Huff.  "Distracted driving is a major contributor to vehicle accidents. As we teach teenagers how to drive, it's equally important to teach them safe habits when getting behind the wheel through our own example."

In Missouri, teen drivers comprise about 13 percent of inattentive driving fatalities, which is the largest of any age group. The financial implications of distracted driving can be extensive. According to a major insurer in Missouri, a teen with no chargeable accidents and no demerit points can expect to pay semi-annual rates of about $837 for full coverage and $517 for liability only. However, if that same teen gets distracted on the road and causes an accident, those rates can shoot up to $1,394 and $913, respectively, for three years.

The department is taking the MO Eyes on the Road campaign on the road this summer and is visiting high schools and colleges to raise awareness about the dangers of distracted driving. If your school is interested in having a presentation, please request a speaker at insurance.mo.gov.

The department urges everyone to keep their eyes on the road. Parents and teens can fill out a teen driver contract at MOEyesontheRoad.com to commit to no more distracted driving.

Learn more information at MOEyesontheRoad.com.