Distracted Driving Injury In Oklahoma

Distracted Driving Injury In Oklahoma

Oklahoma has taken steps — and might take additional steps — to combat distracted driving, which has proven dangerous to motorists, passengers and pedestrians.

According to the Oklahoma Highway Safety Office, in 2014 hundreds of people (637 to be exact) were injured in accidents involving distracted drivers. There were also 14 fatalities. But a law banning texting while driving went into effect in November 2015, and since then injury crashes involving a driver distracted by an electronic device have fallen significantly.

In fact, the executive director of Oklahoma Challenge, an organization that talks to young people about the dangers of distracted driving, says that the texting ban is a good deterrent because they don’t want to get pulled over and ticketed.

Some lawmakers want to build on that success by banning motorists from making handheld phone calls, checking emails and updating social media while the car is in motion. Other aspects of the proposed law include:

  • There would be exceptions to the phone call ban for emergencies.
  • Current law requires drivers to admit to texting before police can issue a ticket. The new law would allow officers who see a violation to issue a ticket.
  • The law would still permit hands-free phone calls.

The bill was introduced in the state Senate in February 2017, but it’s not yet clear whether the measure — or anything similar — will become law.

Examples Of Distracted Driving Incidents

Last month, Fox 23 reported a Tulsa police officer went to the hospital with minor injuries after a distracted driver crashed into his police car in downtown Tulsa.

Every year the Oklahoma Highway Patrol is remembers Trooper Nicholas Dees, who was killed January 31, 2015, by a distracted driver. Officials say the subject who was responsible for the crash admitted to seeing the flashing emergency lights at the scene and did not slow down. It was later discovered by investigators that the subject was updating his social media while driving. The driver responsible was charged with manslaughter and sentenced to 5 years in prison. He was last reported that he is out on probation at this time.

OHP says there was no specific law at the time of Trooper Dees’ death prohibiting texting and driving in Oklahoma. Dees’ widow and parents campaigned for legislation which resulted in The Trooper Nicholas Dees and Trooper Keith Burch Act being signed into law. Gov. Mary Fallin signed House Bill 1965 in May 2015, making texting while driving illegal.

Every year during the last two weeks of January, Oklahoma Highway Patrol chooses to emphasize distracted driving awareness in honor of Trooper Dees. In 2022, The Oklahoma Highway Patrol launched a campaign to crack down on distracted drivers.

Contact the law office of Charles Bryan Alred, PC at  918-745-9960 if you are injured in a car accident involving a distracted driver. I will help you recover compensation for your injuries, including medical expenses, damages, lost wages, and pain & suffering.



Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: