Distracted Driving Causes Preventable Accidents in Oklahoma and Across U.S.

by | Jun 20, 2013 | Distracted Driving

Texting while driving takes your eyes off the road for an average of 4.6 seconds, according to research by the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute, At 55 miles per hour, that is the equivalent of driving the entire length of a football field while totally blind. In 2011, 3,331 people were killed and 387,000 people injured in crashes involving a distracted driver.

On May 31, a woman with a child in the backseat of her car, who had a blown tire on I-44 in Oklahoma City, was driving at a reduced speed to try to get to a gas station safely. A truck slammed into the back of the car. Oklahoma City police believe the man driving the truck was texting on his phone at the time of the wreck, according to a news report. The truck driver was cited for inattentive driving.

According to a study conducted by Virginia Tech and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the top cause of distracted driving is the use of a cell phone. In 2011, 23% of auto collisions involved cell phones. There are three main types of driver distractions, according to the United States Department of Transportation:

  • Taking your eyes off of the road.
  • Taking your hands off of the wheel.
  • Taking your mind off of driving.

Texting while driving includes all three types of distracted driving. Virginia Tech researchers found that a driver who is texting is 23 times more likely to be involved in a car accident than other drivers.

Forty states now ban texting while driving as part of distracted driving laws. Eleven states prohibit all drivers from using hand-held cellphones while driving. There is no state that bans all cell phone use for all drivers. Thirty-seven states ban all cell phone use by novice drivers, and 19 states prohibit it for school bus drivers.

While Oklahoma prohibits distracted driving in general, there is no law that specifically targets texting while driving. Currently, Oklahoma has a ban (and primary enforcement) against the use of cell phones by drivers holding learners or intermediate licenses. The state prohibits school bus drivers from using cell phones and text messaging while driving. It also prohibits learner or intermediate license holders from text messaging.

Proving that texting while driving was the cause of a collision can be difficult. At Burch, George & Germany, P.C., our distracted driver attorneys work with investigators to gather evidence, such as cell phones and cell phone records, to connect the cause of an accident to texting while driving.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident that you believe was caused by a distracted driver, contact the motor vehicle accident attorneys at Burch, George & Germany, P.C., as soon as possible to schedule a free and confidential case evaluation. Call 405-239-7711 or use our online contact form.