It was recently reported that the number of fatalities of teenagers killed in car accidents in Oklahoma is on the rise. While car accidents are the leading cause of death for teenagers, AAA reports that 21 percent more teenagers were killed in car accidents in Oklahoma in 2015 than in 2014. Speeding remains the number one cause of car accidents involving teenagers. There have been a total of 14,000 fatal accidents involving teenagers in the U.S. over the last five years, and greater than 4,200 of them involved speeding.
Distracted driving refers to a wide range of activities, including any activity that distracts the driver's attention, focus or body from the roadway. Distracted driving based on gadget distractions, such as cell phones, texting and navigation systems, is commonly discussed today, however, older types of distraction, such as eating or grooming while driving, still pose a risk to victims of distracted driving.
Previous posts here have discussed the dangers of texting and driving, the increase in fatal traffic accidents and the potential for distracted driving to impact the number of car accidents facing our communities. In general, distracted driving is a growing problem that is also potentially leading to a growth in fatal traffic accidents.
A recent post here discussed the dangers and problems associated with texting and driving. A recent report from the National Safety Council revealed that car accident fatalities were up by 9 percent. If the trend continues, 2016 could be the deadliest year for drivers in the United States since 2007. According to the National Safety Council's preliminary data, car accident fatalities increased by 9 percent for the first six months of 2016 compared to the same time period for 2015. The increase is 18 percent higher than for the same time period in 2014.
Texting and driving is a dangerous and life-threatening problem; one that many people engage in. As of last year, nine victims were killed each day because of distracted driving-related behaviors, such as texting while driving, cell phone use or eating while driving. In 2013, there were 341,000 car accidents that involved texting and driving. In addition, when a car accident occurs, there is a 1 in 4 chance that the cause of the car accident involved a cell phone. The amount of cell phone use while driving increases the likelihood of a car accident by four times.
Drunk drivers can cause untold amounts of damage to victims and their families harmed in a drunk driving accident. Unfortunately, drunk driving is a leading cause of car accidents and car accident-related injuries and fatalities. In Oklahoma, 30 percent of traffic fatalities are related to drunk driving. Each drunk driving accident has the potential to unexpectedly up-end the lives of victims and their families and can have permanent and lasting consequences for the futures of victims and their families.
Car accidents are among the top two causes of injury and death. Each year since 1994, between greater than 32,000 victims and 43,500 victims have been killed in car accidents. Motorcyclists, pedestrians and others are also included in the number of fatalities caused in motor vehicle accidents. In addition to deaths, victims of car accidents also suffer life-altering injuries in car accidents. There were a total of 2.2 million vehicle accident injuries in 2010.
Unfortunately, the driving public is sometimes placed at risk when truck drivers and trucking companies do not follow regulations that limit the number of hours a truck driver can be behind the wheel. Excessive driving, without proper breaks, can lead to difficulty concentrating and may result in truck accidents.
Drunk drivers can cause significant harm to victims but resources are available to help drunk driving accident victims. In Oklahoma, there were 3,824 drunk driving accident-related injuries during 2015 when drivers had a blood alcohol content level of .01 or higher. In addition, there were a total of 2,507 drunk driving accidents during 2015 in Oklahoma when the driver had a BAC of .01 or higher. During 2015 in Oklahoma, there were 154 drunk driving-related fatalities when a driver had a BAC of .08 or higher. Overall, drunk driving-related fatalities accounted for 23 percent of traffic fatalities in Oklahoma during 2015.
As summer fast approaches, there may be more individuals on the roadways. Unfortunately, drunk driving car accidents are a reality we live with and a leading cause of death and injury on the roadways. Organizations against drunk driving report that hundreds of victims are killed in drunk driving accidents each year in Oklahoma and that 30 percent of car accident fatalities are related to drunk driving.