Fatal Crash Shows The Dangers Of Cell Phone Use While Driving

A man was killed in Oklahoma City after a woman dropped her cell phone and lost control of her van while retrieving it.

Similarly, new study shows texting and driving laws reduce fatalities

A van accident in Oklahoma City is showing just how dangerous cell phone use can be while driving. According to News 9, a woman driving a van crashed into a pizza parlor after she tried to retrieve a dropped phone. The accident left one person who was standing outside the building dead. Relatedly, a recent study has shown that states that have laws against texting and driving see a decrease in the number of fatal distracted driving crashes, thus increasing pressure on Oklahoma lawmakers to adopt a similar ban.

Driver drops phone

The accident happened on the night of Aug 4 in northwest Oklahoma City when the 27-year-old driver of a van dropped her cell phone. While trying to retrieve the device, she drifted through an intersection, hit a curb, and drove through a parking lot before plowing into the pizza parlor. The crash caused the brick wall of the parlor to collapse, fatally crushing a man who was standing nearby.

While no charges against the driver have been filed, police say they are continuing to investigate the incident.

Texting and driving laws reduce fatalities

The crash is a reminder of the contentious issue about whether stricter laws are required in Oklahoma against cell phone use while driving. A recent study by the University of Alabama has bolstered claims by advocates for tougher cell phone laws that Oklahoma needs a texting-while-driving ban. Oklahoma is one of just a handful of states that does not ban texting and driving.

According to the University Herald, the study found that states with a primary texting ban saw a three percent reduction in the number of people killed in distracted driving car crashes. That figure translates to about 19 lives saved each year in each state with a texting-and-driving ban. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in 2011 distracted driving crashes, many of which are linked to cell phone usage, led to 387,000 injuries and 3,331 deaths across the U.S.

Distracted driving injuries

As the above story shows, distracted drivers continue to pose a threat on Oklahoma's roads to any other motorists or pedestrians who come into their paths. As shown in this case, a crash caused by distracted driving can lead to catastrophic injuries and even death for innocent victims.

Anybody who has been injured in a car crash that was caused by a distracted or negligent driver should contact a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. While victims of distracted drivers have a right to compensation, it often takes the dedication and experience of a qualified attorney to make sure those victims receive the full compensation they deserve.

Keywords: distracted driving crash, texting and driving, cell phone use, injury, negligence