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Texting drivers most likely to get into car accidents


Texting and driving has been a perennial problem not just here in Oklahoma, but in the rest of the country as well. The danger of this type of distracted driving is obvious because it removes a driver's eyes from the road long enough to cause a collision or be involved in one. However, drivers still persist in practicing this dangerous act. Nonetheless, knowing the latest statistics about texting and driving may change a driver's perspective, preventing future car accidents and the eventual injuries and fatalities that come with them.

According to the latest figures, a driver texting or reading messages is 23 percent more likely to be in a car accident. While this does not seem like much, the Department of Transportation paints a clearer picture with around 500,000 injures and almost 6,000 fatalities caused by 1.6 million cell phone-related auto accidents yearly. Drivers who multitask think that they can dodge being part of the statistics, but drivers should think twice before grabbing their cell phone while behind the wheel.

Texting or reading a message usually takes 4.6 seconds. At a rate of 65 miles per hour, that is equal to traveling a football field while being blindfolded. Teenagers, who frequently use a cell phone when driving, can also find that their reflexes resemble that of a 70-year-old when they use a cell phone while driving. Other drivers who choose to use headsets should also be warned that studies found no significant difference when compared with using a hand-held device.

In Oklahoma, inexperienced and young drivers are prohibited from texting and driving. But these laws may not be enough. If a motorist sustains an injury because of a distracted driver, it may be best to hold the driver legally accountable. Doing so cannot only emphasize the need for discipline while on the road but may also result in compensation for the injured victim through a personal injury claim.

Those affected by a negligent or distracted driver should be aware of their options. Seeking advice about legal remedies could prove to be very beneficial and help reduce or eliminate financial burdens the accident caused.

Source: Investor Place, "Texting and Driving Statistics 2014," Burke Speaker, June 12, 2014

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