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Texting While Driving Deaths

Posted on: March 24, 2017 by Edwards & Patterson Law

Texting While Driving Deaths

Texting while driving has grown in recent years to epidemic proportions. Every death is tragic; but texting while driving deaths are especially so because they are 100% unnecessary. In the time it takes to look away from the road to read a text, a vehicle traveling at 55 mph travels the length of a football field. That is the same as traveling that distance blind. According to the National Safety Council, texting while driving results in 1,600,000 accidents a year and is the number one driving distraction reported by teen drivers. In 2014, 3,179 people were killed in accidents involving distracted drivers.

Oklahoma Texting While Driving Law

Oklahoma is serious about motorists texting while driving, and preventing accidental texting while driving deaths. A new Oklahoma texting law went into effect November 1, 2015. Those caught texting while driving are fined $100. The law requires primary enforcement, meaning that law enforcement officers can stop and cite offenders for this reason alone. Early results from the new law are promising. According to the Oklahoma Highway Safety Office, a study of accidents from texting while driving from November 2015 through July 2015 compared to the same types of accidents from November 2015 through July 2016 yielded the following results:

  • Total crashes dropped 12%
  • Injury crashes dropped 22%
  • Fatalities dropped 30%
  • Non-injury crashes dropped 6%

Proposed 2017 Texting While Driving Laws

In light of the evidence of this law’s success, Oklahoma lawmakers are going further. Two new pieces of legislation concerning texting while driving are working their way through the 2017 legislative agenda.

  • Senate Bill 44 would ban the use of any handheld communications devices by drivers.
  • SB 132 was created in memory of teacher Bobbi White, who was killed in a construction zone in May 2016 in an accident related to distracted driving. This bill would require only hands-free use of personal electronic devices while driving.

Fines would be $100 per violation. For accidents in a school or construction zone, fines would be $5,000 if injuries occur, and could reach $10,000 in cases where deaths occur.

If you or someone you love were involved in an accident with another driver in Tulsa, McAlester or eastern Oklahoma who was texting while driving, you could be entitled to compensation. The attorneys of Edwards and Patterson Law offer free case evaluations and you pay no fees unless you are awarded monetary remuneration. Contact us online or call 877-403-8417 to schedule a consultation.

 

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