April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month, and for Oklahomans, the event could not be more timely. On January 31, Oklahoma State Trooper Nick Dees lost his life when he was struck and killed by a driver who was updating social media on his cell phone at the time. Trooper Dees was responding to an accident on I-40 when the crash that took his life occurred.
Currently, Oklahoma is one of only a few states that do not ban texting while driving. Two bills have been introduced in the state legislature to address this problem. Many experienced Oklahoma distracted driving accident lawyers have already contacted their representatives to encourage these bills to pass, and they hope that other Oklahomans will do the same.
Distracted driving claims nine lives a day in the United States and causes over 1,100 injuries on U.S. roads daily, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Although these numbers include all forms of distracted driving, not just texting, the CDC warns that texting behind the wheel may be one of the most dangerous forms of distraction.
Distractions can increase the chance of a wreck by taking a driver’s hands, eyes, or mind off the road and the task of driving. When a driver is texting, all three of these things are distracted at once. The hands are typing the text, the eyes are looking at the screen, and the mind is on the message, not the road. The results, as Oklahomans know too well, can be fatal. It’s time to reduce the distraction of texting while driving and help save lives on Oklahoma roads.