Texting and driving is a common occurrence for 31% of the general public in the United States. 71.5% of young adults reported reading a text message while driving. However, reading or sending texts are not the only forms of electronic distraction while driving, using a GPS or looking at a map on a phone have also been included as distracted driving. Due to all the deaths that have risen as a result of texting while driving, most states now have laws that ban texting and driving completely.
Current Texting and Driving Laws
Different states enforce different laws when it comes to texting while driving, but Oklahoma upholds the primary law for texting, which means that a police officer can cite you for the hand-held use of a phone even if you have not violated any other traffic laws. All drivers are banned from texting while driving and drivers who have a learner’s or intermediate driver’s license are not allowed to hold a cell phone while driving.
The consequences of a citation for texting in Oklahoma can mean a $100 fine if you are caught, but could potentially mean a lawsuit from a defendant and Oklahoma personal injury lawyer if texting leads to a wreck.
Effects on Drivers
Since not every state enforces the same texting laws, the results of these laws vary. Some states that implemented a texting ban have had a 24-74% drop in texting while driving, but this took about 7 years to take effect. 22% of drivers have transitioned to talking on the phone hands-free in states with bans, likely to avoid a ticket. However, officers report the difficulty of some of these laws because in some states, these bans only apply to minors and some laws require an officer to have a reason other than texting to cite a driver for texting. This limits the consequences for texting while driving which does not necessarily discourage this behavior.
Effects on Car Crashes
Unfortunately, many studies show mixed results as to whether texting laws have helped decrease crash rates. One study showed no decreases in car crashes after texting bans while other studies with questionable methods only revealed some decreases in crash rates. The reasons behind these results are unclear but may have to do with the fact that laws between states vary or that some laws only target teenage drivers, which means any driver over 18 is not discouraged from texting while driving.
Oklahoma Personal Injury Attorney
Distracted driving has resulted in thousands of injuries in the U.S., but you still have a right to your own compensation. Injuries from car crashes can be severe and require emergency medical care and long-term treatment, which can put almost anyone into debt who does not have great health insurance. If you were injured by a distracted driver, then talk to an Oklahoma personal injury lawyer to represent you in court. To do this, contact the Law Firm of Griffin Reynolds at (405) 721-a 9500 for free consultation. We are here to help you obtain a fair compensation.