Distracted Driving: The New Leading Cause of Accidents

Distracted Driving

Oklahoma Turnpike Authority (OTA) and Edmond Police are spreading the word to motorists about a new statewide ban on texting and driving that began began on Nov. 1. Police Sargent Edmond Hamm notes that distracted driving is one of the leading causes of traffic accidents in the area. He warns citizens that officers will be on the lookout for any drivers texting while the vehicle is in motion.

One of our leading causes of accidents is distracted driving. We’re going to be out there looking for it and enforcing it because the purpose of the traffic law is to reduce traffic wrecks, Hamm said.

Hamm also notes that the distracted driving accidents are often rear-end crashes, and has become a big problem in recent months.

Drivers are still permitted by law to text and read text when the vehicle is not in motion, like at a stop light. Additionally, drivers are still permitted to talk on the phone while driving, which has also been proven to be a distracted driving crash risk “Once you get going, you better put it down,” Hamm said.

Hamm also notes that there have been many studies conducted that compare texting and driving to being just as dangerous, if not more so than driving intoxicated.
We’re glad that the Edmond Police want to keep people safe, and hope more states follow suit.

“Using cell phones while operating a vehicle is a cognitive distraction, resulting in a loss of focus on up to 50 percent of their driving environment,” said Tim Stewart, OTA executive director stated. “OTA’s mission includes providing safe travel. We encourage all motorists to stay focused and alert while driving and remain in accordance with the law by not texting and driving.”

Texting and driving is one of the most common causes of distracted driving accidents, although many people may not recognize quickly reading a text as a crash risk. Apps like FleetMode and AT&T DriveMode silence incoming alerts, reducing temptation for the driver and reducing distracted driving behavior. Download AT&T DriveMode.