An Oklahoma law aimed at discouraging texting while driving went into effect last year and has resulted in a number of citations. Throughout the state of Oklahoma, 272 citations were issued for texting while driving from November 2015 through the third week of March 2016. In Oklahoma City, 53 citations for the same offense were issued during that same time period.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that during the first 9 months of 2015, 26,000 car accident victims died in the United States. In the region that includes Oklahoma, there was a 2 percent increase in car accident fatalities. While car accident fatalities may be on the rise, there is some concern that distracted driving laws aimed at preventing texting and driving may lead to an increase in dangerous texting and driving behaviors such as lowering a phone or otherwise engaging in careless texting activities to evade detection and avoid a citation.
While all distracted driving is considered dangerous, texting and driving is considered particularly dangerous because it combines manual, visual and cognitive forms of distraction. Other forms of distracted driving include cell phone use; operating navigation systems and radios or videos while driving; eating and drinking while driving; talking to passengers while driving; and grooming while driving.
All forms of distracted driving present dangers. Whenever a careless driver has acted negligently and caused a car accident, legal protections and options may be available to help victims; it is also important to note that citations are often viewed as evidence of negligence.
Victims needlessly harmed by the careless actions of other drivers, such as those texting while driving, may not have to suffer the consequences of a distracted-driving related car accident without help. Resources may be available to help them recover compensation for the physical, financial and emotional damages they will likely suffer following a car accident.
Source: Nondoc.com, “Hundreds of texting while driving citations issued in OK,” Josh McBee, March 24, 2016