New Research Supports Tougher Distracted Driving Laws

by | Aug 21, 2013 | Car Accident

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration published a study in August that scrutinizes distracted driving and texting behind the wheel. The key findings support the anti-texting-while-driving movement that’s sweeping the country.

The study used a simulator to study the length of time that drivers take to perform various tasks. It found that drivers took their eyes off the road for an average of 12 to 14 seconds to compose a short or medium-length text message and an average of 23 seconds for a longer message.

In real terms, a car moving at 60 miles an hour covers more than one-third of a mile in the time it takes to compose a long text message. The findings provide a foundation for concerns about the distraction of texting while driving. A survey sponsored by AT&T found that 49% of commuters admitted to texting behind the wheel. According to the government sponsored website, 387,000 people were injured in distraction-related vehicle wrecks in 2011.

There is a nationwide effort to combat distracted driving related to cellphone use. AT&T’s “It Can Wait” campaign promotes public awareness and supports strict anti-texting laws, spurred by research that indicates that texting behind the wheel is more dangerous than drinking and driving.

All but three states restrict texting while driving to some degree, and 41 states ban it outright.

Oklahoma is one of six states with a partial ban on texting while driving. In Oklahoma, new drivers, bus operators and public transit workers are prohibited from text messaging on the go.

Federal law also prohibits truck drivers from texting, and violators face hefty fines.

Distracted driving causes truck accidents, motorcycle collisions and car crashes. Even if you are a safe and conscientious driver, texting and driving by others can affect you.

The Oklahoma City personal injury lawyers at Burch, George & Germany, P.C., help families in crisis, and know how to win cases for clients who deserve compensation for the pain, suffering and financial loss of traffic crashes. If you have been injured in an accident in the Norman, Tulsa or Oklahoma City areas, contact us today to find out how we can help you get back on your feet.