According to AAA, a driver is four times as likely to be in an accident while under the influence of alcohol, but those who are texting and driving are 23 times more likely to be in an accident.
That’s nearly six times the risk than drunk drivers! Yet, despite these frightening statistics, Oklahoma was one of nine states that didn’t have a specific law against texting and driving.
Oklahoma’s laws only focused on using cell phones and other devices, and it only affected those with a learner permit. Drivers with a learner permit were banned from using hand-held cell phones or texting while driving.
TEXTING AND DRIVING DANGERS
According to Chuck Mai, AAA public affairs, distracted driving is a huge problem in our state. Though any kind of distraction while driving is a problem, texting is a sure way to raise risks to yourself and others.
Oklahoma needs to get serious about texting and driving bills.
What Oklahoma needs is a specific law that targets texting while driving. In the past, attempts to pass a law in the legislature met with resistance. This year, however, texting-while-driving reform was able to gain more momentum.
Senate Bill 442, by Sen. Ron Sharp, would make it unlawful to compose, send or read a text message while driving. This bill passed the Senate Public Safety committee, but unfortunately did not get a reading in the Senate.
Senate Bill 1601 attempted to it illegal for anyone operating a motor vehicle to use a wireless communications device in a school zone. This bill, passed the Senate, but unfortunately did not make it very far in the process in the House of Representatives.
With more than 11,000 crashes in 2012 due to drivers who were distracted, I think it is time for the state to get a little more tough with texting and driving.
If you need help with auto accidents of any kind, call us today at (405) 703-4567.