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Distracted driver blamed for motorcycle accident


Cell phones are a wonderful way to keep up with friends, family members and coworkers throughout the day, whether they are in Oklahoma or somewhere else in the country. Unfortunately, these devices also can be a problem for anyone driving a vehicle. One 42-year-old driver may be learning this fact the hard way, following a motorcycle accident on the Broken Arrow Expressway in Tulsa.

According to the Tulsa Police, a 27-year-old motorcyclist stopped in a slowed traffic lane around an Oklahoma Department of Transportation highway construction work site on U.S. 169 northbound. He was then hit from behind by a Chevrolet Silverado. The accident sent the motorcyclist to Saint Francis Hospital, where he was listed in serious condition.

One Tulsa officer says the Silverado's driver admitted to being distracted by his cell phone when he rear-ended the motorcyclist. Police are continuing their investigation to determine whether the driver was on his phone when the accident occurred. If so, he could be cited for violating Oklahoma's laws governing distracted driving.

Even if the Silverado driver was not using his cell phone, he still has a legal obligation to keep his focus on the road and to observe all traffic conditions around him. All motorists should also be aware that motorcycles are sometimes hard to see and that preventing motorcycle accidents is a responsibility every driver has. Only a split second of inattention can result in a fatality, whether a pedestrian, another motorist or a motorcyclist.

Any driver involved in an accident who is determined to have been distracted can be determined to have been the negligent party in a car-motorcycle accident. If a traffic investigation does find that negligence is involved, then the injured motorcyclist can hold the driver accountable for medical expenses, lost wages and emotional damages incurred as a result of the accident.

Source: Tulsa World, "Police say cellphone distraction to blame for Wednesday afternoon crash on U.S. 169," May 7, 2014

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