Three people were killed and two others were seriously injured in an Oklahoma car accident. According to a KOCO.com news report, the fatal crash occurred on State Highway 3 in Oklahoma City. Officials say a 24-year-old man was behind the wheel of a 1999 Ford when it left the westbound lanes, crossed the centerline and crashed into a culvert. The driver from Broken Bow, a 12-year-old boy from Idabel and a 24-year-old Heavener man were killed. The boy’s 30-year-old mother was seriously injured and his 10-year-old sister was listed in critical condition. An investigation is underway to determine the cause of the accident. None of the occupants were believed to be wearing a seat belt at the time of the crash.
When a vehicle leaves a travel lane and enters the shoulder, parking lane or median, it is called a run-off-road (ROR) crash. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), ROR accidents are responsible for about 70 percent of fatal single-vehicle crashes. The most common contributing factors of ROR accidents include:
- Alcohol: Over 86.5 percent of drivers involved in fatal single vehicle ROR accidents between the years 1991 and 2007 had alcohol in their system.
- Speed: About 90 percent of the fatal single vehicle ROR crashes involved excessive speed.
- Curved roadways: More ROR accidents occur on curves than on straight roadway.
- Rural roadways: More ROR accidents occur on rural roadways than on urban streets.
- Adverse weather conditions: Not all ROR accidents result solely from driver error. Vehicles are more likely to leave the roadway when it is rainy, snowy or foggy.
- High occupancy: Vehicles with two or more occupants are more commonly involved in ROR accidents than vehicles with fewer occupants.
- Age: Young drivers between the ages of 15 to 24 are most commonly involved in ROR crashes.
- Fatigue: Sleepy and inattentive drivers are more likely to let their vehicle leave the roadway.
Whenever someone is killed in an Oklahoma car accident, it is important to review what possible factors contributed to the crash. The families of fatally injured victims can hold the at-fault parties accountable for losses such as medical bills, pain and suffering, funeral expenses, and lost future wages. No amount of money can replace the life of a loved one, but a successful wrongful death claim can provide some much needed financial support for grieving families.