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The truth about distracted driving

If a person in Oklahoma does anything while in a vehicle to take his or her focus off of the road, it is considered distracted driving. For instance, if a person is eating, drinking or on a cellphone, that driver is not fully focused on the task of driving safely. Those who send or read text messages will take their eyes off of the road for five seconds.

If the vehicle is traveling at 55 miles per hour, it will have traveled the length of a football field while the driver was looking at the phone. When a driver is distracted for any reason, it can significantly increase that person's chances of getting into an accident. In 2015, distracted driving accidents resulted in 3,477 deaths and 391,000 injuries. It is estimated that 660,000 people are on their phones while driving during daylight hours.

Teens are the most likely age group to be distracted by cellphone use while driving. Parents can reduce the odds of a young driver using a phone while in a vehicle by modeling good behavior. They can also talk to their kids about the consequences of using a phone while driving. Teens themselves can speak up either directly to a distracted driver or by sharing their messages on social media to warn others about the dangers of driving while distracted.

Those who are hurt in car accidents caused by a person who was texting and driving could be entitled to compensation for medical bills and lost wages. An attorney may be able to prove that a distracted driver caused the crash by looking at phone records or physical evidence from the scene. Statements made by the driver to police or anyone else could also be used to prove that negligence occurred.

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