Oklahoma City Personal Injury Lawyers

Improper use of Snapchat Leads to Car Accidents

On May 3, 2016, images of a girl using the popular social media application SnapChat ran wild on the Internet. This picture showed a picture of the girl who was determined to have been driving at a speed in excess of 107 MPH. As you can imagine, she was subsequently involved in a car accident where she rear-ended the other vehicle.  The man who she was in an accident sustained a severe traumatic brain injury and was in the hospital for over five weeks while he recovered. This sad case has brought attention to the growing problem with drivers using social media and other devices while they are driving.

Dangers of Distracted Driving

The dangers of distracted driving are everywhere, and it seems as if things are only getting worse as we become more and more connected and dependent on our phones and mobile devices.  In 2014, 3,179 people were killed, and 431,000 were injured in motor vehicle crashes involving distracted drivers. Younger drivers are disproportionately distracted while driving, according to federal statistics. Drivers in their 20s make up 27 percent of the distracted drivers involved in fatality crashes, reports distracted.gov.  Distracted driving is any activity that could divert a person’s attention away from the primary task of driving. All distractions endanger driver, passenger, and bystander safety. These types of distractions include:

  • Texting – Texting is one of the biggest reasons why people are involved in accidents. Some reports estimate that when you send a text message while driving you go at least the length of a football field without looking at the road. That is a scary statistic and measure when you consider that not only are people sending a text, but they are sending multiple texts and engaging in conversation.
  • Using a cell phone or smartphone – This is what lead to this unfortunate accident. There are an ever-increasing amount of social media platforms that are all scrambling for your attention and business. At one-time cell phones were not able to access the internet, however now it seems that this is the exception as opposed to the rule.
  • Eating and drinking – many people do not see the harm in enjoying a sandwich or a drink when they are driving, however, eating and drinking all draw your attention away from the road and encourage you to look other places in your car as opposed to what is in front of you.
  • Watching a video – You may remember a few years ago when it was rare for a car to come with any sort of television or movie device, however, now it is very common if not expected for a vehicle to come equipped with a television or other device or devices. In addition, our cell phones are being used to stream movies and clips from popular social media platforms. All of these pull our attention away from the road.

In addition to these common distractors, grooming, reading, using navigation systems, adjusting the radio, and even talking to passengers are all reasons why drivers are more distracted today than they have been in the past.

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Common Injuries from Distracted Driving

National Center for Statistics and Analysis, In 2013, 3,154 people were killed in crashes involving a distracted driver, compared to 3,328 in 2012. n 2013, nearly one in five crashes (18%) in which someone was injured involved distracted driving.

  • Traumatic Brain injuriesHead injuries are among the most serious car accident injuries and are unfortunately very common when there is a distracted driver. Any driver in the car included seated drivers and passengers who are involved in high-speed collisions can strike their heads against steering wheels, dashboards, windows, or other elements in the car. Alternatively, if a person is ejected from the car, they will likely sustain a traumatic brain injury. Traumatic brain injuries can range from mild concussions to comas and result in lasting cognitive problems.
  • Neck injuries – Probably the most well-known car accident injury is whiplash, and while these injuries tend to be minor, there are serious complications that can result from them. The sudden movement of the head and neck (such as from a rear-end collision) can cause serious neck muscle and ligament damage. Whiplash injuries can differ from person to person, depending on the accident and the health of the person involved in it. Generalized neck pain and swelling is also fairly common. It is also not unheard of for patients to suffer temporary vocal cord paralysis after a car accident.

There are many other injuries that can result from distracted driving. The costs of distracted driving for not outweigh the benefits of sending a text message or sending a snap chat.

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Tips to Avoid Distracted Driving

“Know B4 U Go” Has been a slogan that has been in use in Oklahoma for a considerable length of time. This slogan has been used to encourage motorists to plan their routes before leaving home or work to ensure they arrive safely at their destination. Now the Oklahoma Department of Transportation is taking that advice a step further by encouraging all motorists to “Text B4 U Go” ahead of a new statewide texting while driving ban that took effect on November 1, 2015.

Oklahoma was the 46th state to ban texting while driving and is one of the best ways to avoid being in an accident because of a distracted driver. Always keep your eyes on the road, and if you need to make a phone call pull over to a safe location to call someone.

Contact an Oklahoma City Car Accident Lawyer

To set up a free, private legal consultation, call an Oklahoma personal injury lawyer of Hasbrook & Hasbrook at (405) 698-3040. You will not be charged any fees for your initial consultation, and we will keep your information confidential.