Distracted driving can be fatal

Trauma surgeons, state troopers and the mother of a teen driver killed in a highway crash are trying to raise awareness about the dangers of distracted driving.

Missouri State Highway Patrol administrators have urged legislators to make Missouri the 36th state to ban text messaging for all drivers.

Missouri has barred drivers 21 and younger from texting while driving since 2009, but efforts to broaden that ban to all drivers have failed.

University of Missouri Nursing Professor Lori Popejoy described how her son Adam, 16, and a passenger died in a Columbia car crash nearly a decade ago, likely due to his momentary inattention.

Popejoy said, â??Iâ??m very, very reluctant to have young drivers in the car with other kids. I donâ??t care how good of a kid they are, or how good their attentions are, they are actually talking to each other. They are not paying attention. They are not, particularly, good drivers. They canâ??t multitask like a 50-year-old would.â??

Wednesdayâ??s news conference at Columbiaâ??s University Hospital was part of a broader campaign that includes driver safety lessons for Missouri elementary school students.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.