A majority of states across the country have enacted legislation that bans some form of cellphone use while driving. These laws may ban texting for novice drivers, texting for everyone or hand-held use of cellphones entirely, but they don’t guarantee that all drivers are going turn off their mobile devices.
In order to spread the message, April has been declared National Distracted Driving Awareness Month. With 39 fatalities tied back to distracted driving crashes in the year 2012 alone, the Oklahoma Highway Patrol is on high alert this month looking for drivers paying attention to something other than the road.
“When you combine electronic devices or any distractions and traffic violations then that creates for hazardous road conditions that creates many of the collisions we see on a day to day basis,” said Oklahoma Trooper Cody Jackson.
When Trooper Jackson took a KWSO news team out on a ride along, it only took a few minutes for them to find a driver on Interstate 44 committing traffic violations while controlling his radio with his cellphone.
Midwest City Police Chief Brandon Clabes noted that his local experience has been much the same. “Most of the accidents we investigate are because people are either on their cellphone, or they are texting and not paying attention,” he said, “and your life can be lost in just a split second.”
Chief Clabes gave that statement in a News 9 interview concerning an accident that occurred earlier this week. A Midwest City police sergeant had narrowly escaped death when a distracted driver crashed into his patrol car during a routine traffic stop. No one could argue with the sergeant’s claim of a near death experience either. The entire incident was caught on tape.
In the collision mentioned above, those involved were lucky to walk away from the accident with only minor injuries. As previously noted, that isn’t always the case. Victims of a distracted driver may have a claim for compensation, but they’ll need a little help from a Ponca City personal injury attorney.
Source: KSWO, “Increased awareness about distracted driving,” April 3, 2014News 9, “Dash Cam Video Captures MWC Crash Caused By Distracted Driver,” Lisa Monahan, April 8, 2014