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Local attorney launches campaign to reduce texting and driving crashes

Posted: 4:48 PM, May 21, 2018
Updated: 2018-05-21 20:24:48-04

INDEPENDENCE, Mo. — One Independence injury attorney fears the battle against texting and driving might be a losing one. 

There are numerous campaigns to stop the dangerous and deadly behavior of texting and driving. Don't Text and Drive is one of them. 

But Independence injury attorney, Doug Horn, believes the campaign is not working because the number of injury crashes involving distracted drivers on their cell phones is increasing. According to the Ad Council, 3,447 people died in crashes from distracted driving on cell phones in 2015. Horn has developed a new campaign to stop texting and driving.

Horn said the old anti-driving and texting campaign, Don't Text and Drive is asking people not to do something. He believes a new approach should be a positive approach inviting people to do something to protect themselves and others. 

The new campaign is called: Protect Yourself. Horn explained that people are motivated by self-preservation. 

Protect yourself is a warning that more people are texting and driving and drivers need to be alert, buckle-up and looking for drivers who are texting and driving to avoid crashes.

"By telling people to protect themselves -- that there is a significant risk of harm, by warning them of that significant risk, we can change their approach to driving," said Horn.

He explained that the campaign isn't just a warning to be careful; it also shames people who text and drive — putting them in the same category of drunk drivers.

"So if I can change your perception as to who is out on the road, you're going to drive much more safely," Horn added.

Horn advises motorists to slow down and enter slowly into the intersection in case a distracted driver runs the stop light or stop sign.

The Protect Yourself campaign lives online right now but Horn is planning to have billboards with the Protect Yourself warnings this summer.

Horn also explained that Missouri does not have a state law forbidding texting and driving. He said he will work with lawmakers to get one.