Oklahoma works to tighten rules on distracted drivers

In 2012, more than 11,000 crashes were caused by distracted drivers in the state of Oklahoma. Legislators have taken note and are taking action to prevent such car accidents as they consider a new bill designed to discourage the practice. Although Oklahoma already has laws against distracted driving, the proposal would specifically address reading or sending text messages while driving. Oklahoma is looking to join the 42 other states that have criminalized texting and driving.

The proposal would introduce potential fines as high as $500 for drivers who are found reading, composing or sending a text message on their cellular phones. Other types of messaging, such as social media posts, would also be prohibited under the new mandate. Officers say that the proposed legislation could prevent car collisions that cause serious injury by forcing drivers to focus more on the act of driving.

Industry leaders in AAA have been fighting for a text-specific ban for five years. That organization is particularly concerned about the practice because of the various levels of distraction that combine to create potentially deadly circumstances for a negligent driver. Motorists who text take their eyes off of the road while thinking about the message and using their hands to type instead of steer. Many people who text may not realize that the split second required to send a message could easily lead to an auto accident.

Victims who have been injured by a negligent driver who was texting and driving may benefit from the assistance of an Oklahoma personal injury attorney. These professionals may be able to provide advice about recovering compensation for pain and suffering, medical expenses and other costs. Negligent drivers who text behind the wheel should be required to pay for the damage they cause.

Source: KTEN.com, "Senate Bill Would Ban Texting While Driving" Zack Hedrick, Feb. 21, 2014

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