Most people in Oklahoma know that you can cause an auto accident if you drive while distracted. A recent national survey revealed that people actually view distracted driving as being more dangerous than drunk driving. Still, even though people see distracted driving as a problem, they still do it. In fact, one study found that driver distraction could contribute to as much as 58 percent of all crashes in our country.
We have handled many car accident cases in Oklahoma over the years which involved distracted drivers. Our legal team at Cain Law Office knows how to thoroughly investigate these cases and pursue the compensation that victims and their families deserve. If you believe that a distracted driver harmed you or a loved one in Oklahoma City, Edmond or elsewhere in Oklahoma, we will put our rapid-response investigate team on your case right away.
To learn more, call or reach us online today. We are available 24/7 to take your call. We can meet you at our office, your home, the hospital or wherever else is most convenient for you.
People in Oklahoma Know Distracted Driving Is Risky – But Still Do It
Negligence occurs when people fail to exercise reasonable care in their choices and actions. Distracted driving is a perfect example of it. People should know better than to drive while distracted by things such as:
- Talking on a cell phone
- Reading or sending a text message
- Checking e-mail
- Surfing the web (including social media sites)
- Interacting with passengers or pets
- Playing with the car stereo or other controls
- Putting on makeup in the mirror
- Eating, drinking or smoking.
Data shows that people realize that distracted driving is unreasonable, dangerous behavior. For instance, 87.5 percent of the drivers who participated in a recent AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety survey said they viewed distracted driving as being “a bigger problem today than in past years.” Only 43.4 percent said they felt the same way about drunk driving.
Sadly, driver’s actions do not reflect their attitudes. In the same AAA survey, only 13.5 percent of drivers admitted to driving at least once in the prior year after they had too much to drink. In other words, they saw the risk of drunk driving, and they avoided it. They didn’t do the same with distracted driving. Almost half of the drivers – 44.9 percent – admitted they read a text or e-mail while driving in the prior year. Roughly one third – 34.6 percent – admitted that they typed or texted an e-mail while driving.
A few years ago, University of Iowa researchers used in-vehicle cameras to study drivers between the ages of 16-19. They found that driver distraction contributed to 58 percent of crashes. That figure was much higher than the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s estimate of 14 percent. In 12 percent of the crashes, the driver was engaged in cell phone use.
The Oklahoma Highway Safety Office reports that, in 2016 alone in our state, distracted driving which involved the use of electronic devices and other distractions caused:
- 8,390 total crashes (compared to 3,356 crashes involving alcohol use)
- 3,152 injury crashes (compared to 835 involving alcohol use)
- 34 fatal crashes (fewer than the 173 which involved drunk driving).
Oklahoma law bans texting while driving for all drivers. It also prohibits public transit and commercial drivers from using hand-held phones when they are behind the wheel. Additionally, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration bars commercial drivers from texting and using hand-held phones. Still, as one survey found, only 39 percent of drivers actually see laws as incentive to put down their phones when they drive.
Even though you may see the danger in distracted driving and avoid that type of careless and reckless behavior, you cannot control what others do. If you recently were involved in a car accident in Oklahoma, the other driver’s distraction may have played a role. At Cain Law Office, we’ll find out for you.
How Does Distracted Driving Cause Car Accidents in Oklahoma?
If you are going 55 mph in your car, all it takes is two seconds travel roughly the length of two basketball courts, according to Zendrive. If you take your eyes off the road for that two seconds – for instance, you glance down at your phone, or you turn to talk to someone in the backseat – Zendrive reports that you increase your crash risk by more than 20 times. But visual distraction is just part of the problem.
Distracted driving is dangerous because it takes your mind off safe driving. Often, it involves physical distraction as well. For example, a study in the New England Journal of Medicine found that teen drivers were eight times more likely to get into a wreck if they dialed a phone. They were seven to eight times more likely to crash if they simply reached for their phone.
Researchers from Car and Driver magazine actually conducted a test which revealed that sending a text was even more dangerous than driving while legally impaired (with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08 or higher). In the test, drivers needed just 0.54 seconds to break when unimpaired. They needed an additional four feet of distance to brake when impaired – and another 70 feet of distance if they were sending a text.
The bottom line: If you don’t have your hands on the wheel, your eyes on the road and your mind on driving safely, you put yourself and everyone at risk. You are negligent. If you cause an accident that hurts others, you should be held accountable for it.
What Can You Do in Oklahoma If a Distracted Driver Hurt You?
If a distracted driver caused a crash that injured you or caused the loss of a loved one in Oklahoma, you have the right to pursue full compensation for your losses. Cain Law Office will guide you through the process. We will aggressively pursue the medical expenses, lost income, pain and suffering and all other damages that you deserve.
Our founding attorney, Monty L. Cain, has protected the rights of car accident victims and their families in Oklahoma for more than 20 years. He has earned a spot in the National Association of Top 100 Trial Lawyers and in the Million Dollar Advocates Forum. The team he has hand-picked at our law firm will know how to investigate your case, including looking at evidence such as:
- Skid marks (if there are none, it may show the driver was too distracted to brake or try to avoid the crash)
- Cell phone records (which can reveal what the driver was doing in the seconds just before or at the time of impact)
- Social media activity (many people today send Facebook messages or post comments while driving)
- Witness statements (people may have seen what the driver was doing)
- Black box data (again, showing no braking or change in speed because the driver may have been looking at a phone instead of trying to avoid a crash).
We will prepare your case for success at trial. We will use that preparation as leverage when we pursue a settlement with the distracted driver or any other party who may be liable for your damages (such as the driver’s employer). If necessary, we will be ready to fight for you in court. Throughout your case, we will keep you updated, answer your questions and help with any other matter such as dealing with medical bill collectors.
Our Oklahoma Distracted Driving Accident Attorneys Are Here for You
We refuse to tolerate distracted driving at Cain Law Office. You don’t have to tolerate it, either. If a distracted driver hurt you or a loved one, contact our office in Oklahoma City or Edmond for an immediate, free consultation. We won’t charge you anything unless we secure compensation for you. Call or reach us online today to get started.