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Exting-and Driving banThis Fall

With distracted driving becoming a growing problem, Oklahoma will soon ban texting while driving.

State ban against texting-and-driving will go into effect on November 1

Oklahoma will soon have a much tougher law in place against texting while driving. Starting November 1, texting-and-driving will become a primary offense throughout the state, which will make it much easier for police to pull over drivers who are not paying attention to the road. Oklahoma’s new law is just the latest sign of how serious the problem of distracted driving is becoming. Countless studies and statistics are showing that while police and safety advocates battle against the dangerous behavior, distracted driving remains pervasive.

New texting law

Governor Mary Fallin signed the bill that bans texting and driving back in May. The bill was passed partly in response to the death of an Oklahoma Highway Patrol officer earlier this year. He was struck and killed on Interstate 40 by a driver who was distracted by his cellphone.

The new law will make texting and driving a primary offense, meaning officers will need no other reason than to witness a driver manipulating his or her cellphone in order to pull that driver over. Police say that by making texting and driving a primary offense it will be much easier for them to enforce the new measure. The penalty for breaking the law is a $100 fine.

A growing problem

As NewsOK recently reported, while police are trying to crack down on texting and driving, the dangers posed by distracted driving seem to be growing. Safety experts note that while much of the attention concerning distracted driving is focused on cellphones, the truth is that there are many potential distractions, including in-car entertainment systems, eating, listening to music, or even talking to a fellow passenger.

One recent study, for example, showed that drivers who multitask, such as by changing the radio station or talking to a person, dedicate 37 percent less brain power toward driving. Another study also found that 61 percent of drivers admit to texting while behind the wheel. Those figures are particularly disturbing given that experts say drivers who take their eyes off the road for more than two seconds are up to 24 times more likely to end up in an accident.

Personal injury law

A car accident is one of the most horrific experiences many people will ever go through, especially if the accident leaves them with serious injuries. Crash victims should contact a personal injury attorney as soon as possible, particularly given the high medical and other costs that are often associated with recovering from an accident. The right attorney will help fight for the accident victim’s rights and may be able to help him or her recover financial compensation.