In recognition of Distracted Driving Awareness Month, law enforcement agencies across the country are increasing efforts to crack down on this dangerous driving behavior throughout the month of April. According to AAA spokesperson Daniel Karnes, “Texting creates a crash risk 23 times worse than when you’re just driving and not distracted.” If you have been injured in a car accident in Oklahoma that you believe was caused by another person’s distracted driving, contact our experienced attorneys at Atkins & Markoff to discuss your compensation options. You may have grounds to file a personal injury lawsuit against the distracted driver, in order to seek fair and timely reimbursement for your injuries.
DISTRACTED DRIVING INJURIES AND FATALITIES
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, hundreds of thousands of motorists nationwide drive while distracted, increasing the risk of devastating accidents, injuries and fatalities. In 2011 alone, more than 3,000 people were killed because of a distracted driver. As it stands, Oklahoma doesn’t have any laws in place prohibiting texting while driving – a huge contributor to distracted driving accidents in Oklahoma and throughout the country – and AAA is working to change that. Oklahoma Highway Patrol trooper Ken Duncan says he has seen several accidents in Oklahoma caused by talking and texting while behind the wheel, and he thinks this behavior is becoming more common among motorists.
REDUCING THE RISK OF DISTRACTED DRIVING ACCIDENTS
While many drivers in Oklahoma have admitted to texting or talking while driving, some try to be more cautious by doing it at a stoplight or by using voice-activated text messaging. According to Duncan, however, while using a hands-free system on your phone may be a safer way to communicate, it can still be a distraction. “Your attention is still partially on your phone call, so your attention is divided between trying to drive and on that phone call,” he said. Because of this risk, drivers in Oklahoma and nationwide are urged by the National Safety Council to stop using cell phones while driving, to understand the dangers of the cognitive distraction to the brain, to tell others about the dangers of distracted driving, and to inform people who call you while driving that you can continue the conversation once they have reached their destination.
OUR EXPERIENCED ATTORNEYS CAN HELP YOU FILE A CLAIM
Distracted driving is dangerous for drivers of any age, but the age group with the greatest proportion of distracted drivers is the under-20 age group. In fact, 16% of all drivers under the age of 20 involved in fatal accidents in 2010 were reported to have been distracted while driving. If you have suffered serious injuries in a distracted driving accident in Oklahoma, or if you lost a loved one in such an accident, contact our knowledgeable lawyers at Atkins & Markoff for legal help. You may be entitled to financial compensation for the resulting injuries, medical bills, and other damages, which you can pursue by filing a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit against the person found at-fault in the car accident.