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Avoid these driving distractions and stay safe

Drivers in Oklahoma who occasionally glance down at their cell phones may want to take notice of the startling statistics of distracted driving. In 2018, the Oklahoma Department of Transportation crash statistics found that 8,752 accidents across the state were caused by a distracted driver. Unfortunately, 35 people lost their lives in these accidents and thousands of others were severely injured.

Though cell phones get the majority of the blame for distracted driving, there are other surprising ways that drivers don't pay attention. Those who drive while they are sad or angry are 10 times more likely to crash. While driving to calm music may help improve focus in some drivers, turning up a favorite song loudly and singing along increases the risk of causing an accident.

It's always fun to bring a pet along for the ride, but furry friends easily distract drivers. A study by AAA found that only 16% of people used a pet restraint while driving with their animals. Others played with, talked to and fed their pets while driving. Additionally, taking a minute to use the restroom before getting behind the wheel may save a life. Driving with a full bladder causes impairment similar to driving with a blood-alcohol level of 0.05.

Distracted driving is a major factor in thousands of accidents each year across Oklahoma. Before getting behind the wheel, drivers have the responsibility to ensure they are focused and rested. When they don't, an accident may occur. A lawyer could help an injured accident victim collect medical and compensatory damages from the insurance of the at-fault driver. For example, a driver who brought a dog along for the ride may have turned around to pet the animal and rear-ended another vehicle in the process. The victim may be entitled to financial help with medical bills and lost wages.

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