This according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). This problem continues, even as state and federal policymakers take swift measures to curb the growing epidemic. At Dodd Henry, we aggressively defend the rights of injured people who suffer the unfortunate consequences of distracted drivers throughout Oklahoma.
If you’ve watched TV lately, there’s a good chance you have seen at least a couple public service announcements on the subject, especially targeting teenagers. The National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) recently revealed some telling statistics on the topic.
How serious is the problem? Well, for those who don’t already know, a vehicle going 55 MPH would actually travel the entire length of a football field in the 5 seconds it takes to read a text message. Imagine driving blindfolded on the highway for that distance. Most people would never think of such a terrifying and dangerous thing, yet millions of Americans do it all the time.
In Oklahoma, cell phone rules have gotten much tougher in recent years. In the early years of handheld device legislation, states began by just prohibiting texting. Then there was a push to move toward restricting teens from talking on their phones too. Nowadays, most states have moved to handheld device bans, thereby allowing people to talk, but only with a hands-free device.
Currently, Oklahoma strictly prohibits texting for ALL drivers, and the law is one of primary enforcement. This means the police do not need some other reason to pull you over. If the police see a person driving and texting, they can make the stop and issue the ticket for that alone. Likewise, school bus drivers and any public transportation operators are prohibited from using a cell phone at all times – even if handsfree. Finally, Oklahoma prohibits those with learners’ permits from using phones, including hands-free devices.
For those who find themselves the victim of a distracted driver, it is very important to take specific steps to protect against insurance companies that attempt to avoid paying claims. The first thing you should do is get medical attention. This means calling 9-1-1 and getting first responders on scene. Never let someone convince you to let them leave without reporting the accident. For one, the law requires you to report accidents. Second and more importantly, your health and safety should be a number-one priority. First responders can treat injuries, document the scene, and create an official record of the collision.
For help after a crash, call Dodd Henry today. The call is free, and we’ll never charge you a fee unless we can recover money on your behalf.