Experienced Tulsa Distracted Driving Lawyers
Strong advocacy for injured drivers, passengers, pedestrians, and bicyclists
There’s no excuse for driving while distracted. Drivers who text while driving, bite into a sandwich, turn around to the back seat, or do anything that affects their ability to respond to emergencies deserve to be held accountable for any accidents they cause. Distracted driving is a leading cause of death and catastrophic accidents in Oklahoma and nationwide.
At Biby Law Firm, our Tulsa car accident lawyers have the experience and resources to help accident victims obtain justice. Jacob Biby and Pat Collogan have personally handled well over 100 cases that have settled or returned verdicts in excess of $100,000. Our lawyers work with investigators and the police to help determine how an accident happened, and who is responsible. We’re experienced at handling all types of car accident claims including distracted driving claims.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about distracted driving claims in Tulsa
- How is distracted driving defined?
- How dangerous is distracted driving?
- What types of activities are considered distracted driving in Tulsa?
- What Tulsa laws regulate distracted driving in Tulsa?
- How do our skilled Tulsa car accident lawyers show that a driver was driving while distracted?
- Who is liable for a Tulsa accident caused by distracted driving?
How is distracted driving defined?
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), distracted driving is any conduct that takes away the driver’s focus on driving. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states there are three kinds of distraction:
- Visual. Your eyes aren’t on the road.
- Manual. Your hands aren’t on the wheel.
- Cognitive. Your mind isn’t on your driving.
Drivers who travel at 60 mph are traveling 88 feet per second. That means if a driver is distracted for just one second, the car travel 88 feet or about seven car lengths.
How dangerous is distracted driving?
Distracted driving is one of the leading causes of injury and deaths on Oklahoma’s roads. The NHTSA states that 3,142 people died in the USA due to distracted driving in 2019. The CDC estimates that 400,000 people were injured in 2018 due to a distracted driving accident. Nearly 20% of the people who died in 2018, according to the CDC, were pedestrians or bicycle riders – not occupants of a vehicle.
According to the Oklahoma Highway Patrol, there were 7,500 accidents in Oklahoma due to distracted driving – causing 41 deaths and hundreds of people to suffer injuries.
Distracted driving is especially dangerous if the vehicle being driven is a truck because cars are no match for the size and weight of a truck. However, recent data shows that truckers have just as much to worry about from distracted drivers. According to one study of about 1,000 participants, at least one out of every four drivers on the road is distracted by his or her phone.
What types of activities are considered distracted driving in Tulsa?
Some of the many types of driver distractions include:
- Texting while driving
- Using a smartphone while driving
- Eating or drinking while driving
- Paying attention to passengers including children instead of focusing on the road
- Personal grooming
- Looking at a GPS system
- Adjusting a radio or other entertainment system
- Reading or using a computer
- Looking at some type of distraction outside the vehicle such as a billboard sign or pedestrians
- Driver fatigue
- Driving while intoxicated
Texting while driving is generally considered the most dangerous type of driver distraction. For starters, drivers who text while driving violate all three of the risk factors – a lack of visual, manual, and cognitive focus.
Who is most at risk of a distracted driving accident?
Teenagers and young adults are especially prone to distracted driving accidents – in part because they think their ability to react is extraordinary (it’s not), because they fail to appreciate the risk, and because they consume more time compared to adults using social media and the Internet.
The CDC states that in 2018:
- 25% of distracted drivers involved in deadly accidents were aged 20-29.
- Generally, drivers 15-19 are more likely to be distracted than drivers 20 and older.
- 9% of all teenagers who died in motor vehicle accidents died due to distracted driving as opposed to other causes such as speeding.
What Oklahoma laws regulate distracted driving in Tulsa?
Oklahoma law makes distracted driving and texting while driving illegal. The core distracted driving laws are:
- Oklahoma Statutes. 47-11-901b. This law requires that “The operator of every vehicle, while driving, shall devote their full time and attention to such driving.” Citations can be issued if law enforcement observes a driver get into an accident or drive in a way that poses an “articulable danger” to other drivers.
- Oklahoma Statutes. 47-11-901c. This law makes it illegal for commercial drivers and drivers of public transport to operate a vehicle:
- 1. Using a cellular telephone or electronic communication device to write, send, or read a text-based communication; or
- 2. Using a hand-held mobile telephone while operating a commercial motor vehicle.
- Violations can result in a misdemeanor charge and a fine of $500.
- Oklahoma Statutes. 47-11-901d. This law makes it illegal for any driver to drive while using a “hand-held electronic communication device to manually compose, send or read an electronic text message while the motor vehicle is in motion.” The fine is $100. Some exceptions may apply.
How do our skilled Tulsa car accident lawyers show that a driver was driving while distracted?
There are many ways our seasoned attorneys work to show a driver was distracted when he/she caused an accident. Some of these strategies include:
- Speaking with any witnesses including anyone in the car of the distracted driver at the time of the accident. We generally have investigators speak with witnesses. We also depose witnesses. At depositions, witnesses are required to answer questions about the accident including what the driver was doing right before the accident – under oath.
- Questioning the driver. Our lawyers depose the other driver under oath. We also have the right to submit written questions to the driver.
- Examining the physical evidence. We demand the right to examine the car for any physical evidence that might indicate a driver was distracted. We also demand the right to examine the driver’s cell phone and cell phone records at the time of the accident. A lot of the evidence tied to determining whether a driver was distracted can be lost or destroyed without specific notifications being sent to the proper parties shortly after an incident occurs. Consequently, hiring the right firm at the right time can be critical in any case involving distracted driving.
Who is liable for a Tulsa accident caused by distracted driving?
The principal defendant in every distracted driving case is the driver of the car. In many cases though, other defendants may be liable also.
As discussed, teenagers and young drivers often drive when they are distracted. In most cases, a parent or both parents own the car involved in the crash. The owners of a car are generally liable for the negligent acts of the drivers.
If the vehicle was a truck, other defendants may include the owners of the truck, the company that hired the driver, a broker who arranged the shipment, and other companies involved in the delivery.
If a loved one died due to a distracted driving accident, the family can file a wrongful death action against all the responsible defendants. Victims who suffer traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord damage, broken bones, or any other type of injury can seek compensation for their financial losses and personal losses. The financial losses include all medical bills to help the victim recover, lost income, and any property/car damage. Personal losses include the victim’s physical pain, emotional suffering, scarring and disfigurement compensation, and loss of consortium.
Since distracted driving is inexcusable, our Tulsa personal injury lawyers also often seek punitive damages against the driver.
Suggested distracted driving blogs
- Oklahoma's New Distracted Driving Bill Doesn't Go Far Enough
- Practical Suggestions to Reduce the Risk of Distracted Driving
- What Are the Most Common Injuries to Pedestrians Who Are Hit by Cars?
Most car accident cases do settle. If the insurance company doesn’t make a fair offer, we are always ready to try your case in court. Our lawyers guide you through each phase of the litigation. We work with your doctors to fully verify all your injuries, show the treatment you need, and explain why your injuries are making your life so unbearable. Our lawyers are skilled at handling distracted driving claims whether the distraction involves a cellphone, a drunk driver, or any other improper conduct.
Speak with a premier Tulsa distracted driving accident lawyer today
For help with any car collision in or near Tulsa, call our skilled personal injury lawyers at 918-574-8458 or fill out our contact form to schedule an appointment. We handle accident cases on a contingency fee basis. We proudly serve all of Oklahoma including the communities of Broken Arrow, Bixby, Claremore, Jenks, Owasso, Sand Springs, Sapulpa, Wagoner, Muskogee, and the surrounding areas.