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New Law Passed to Combat Oklahoma Distracted Driving

by Keith Adkins

If you haven’t already heard about the dangers of distracted driving, you soon will. Our Oklahoma car accident lawyers at Colbert Cooper Hill Attorneys say that’s because a law was recently passed that will allow law enforcement to stop and cite many of our state’s inattentive motorists.

According to an article from News On 6, the new law will prohibit motorists from using their cellphones to send or receive text messages while behind the wheel of a moving vehicle. Records indicate that the new regulation will go into effect on November 1 of this year.

The law was created in response to an accident that left one Oklahoma Highway Patrol trooper seriously injured and another dead. The pair were responding to an Oklahoma truck accident along I-40 when the driver of another vehicle—who was texting and using his phone to access social media sites—crashed into the rear of the troopers’ vehicle.

The widow of the deceased trooper lobbied lawmakers to pass the bill as a way to honor her husband’s memory and service. The effort paid off, and the bill was passed in less than five months from the time it was created.

At Colbert Cooper Hill Attorneys, we’ve seen the negative impact distracted driving has on so many lives. That’s why our Oklahoma personal injury lawyers encourage you to put your phone down while driving and not to pick it up again until you have reached your destination.

The Lingering Effects of an Oklahoma Motorcycle Accident

by Keith Adkins

Riding motorcycles can be an extremely rewarding hobby; however, our Oklahoma motorcycle accident lawyers at Colbert Cooper Hill Attorneys would like to remind citizens that motorcycles offer riders little protection in the event of a collision and the injuries a motorcyclist suffers can be long-lasting.

An article from News OK touches on a collision that occurred more than three months ago, which left eight motorcyclists seriously injured and one other dead. Several of the injured motorcyclists discussed how they are still recovering both physically and emotionally from the incident.

It was around 11:30 a.m. on April 11, 2015, when the motorcyclists set out for a ride. They were riding south on U.S. Highway 81 when an SUV suddenly crossed the centerlines in a curve in the road, and struck the string of motorcycles and their riders.

The victims were transported to local medical facilities for treatment, but they still continue to heal weeks and months after being released. The victims discussed how amputations and broken bones prevented them from going to work and conducting other daily activities as well.

Even when safety precautions are taken, there is no sure way to prevent all motorcycle crashes. That’s why it’s best for motorcyclists to be prepared and know what actions to take in the event of a crash. One of the best options for riders to consider is speaking with an Oklahoma personal injury lawyer. An attorney will be able to clarify your rights, as well as answer any questions you may have regarding your case.

Ten Lives Lost in Fatal Auto Accidents During 4th of July Weekend

by Keith Adkins

This past weekend marked our nation’s independence with the 4th of July holiday. While a majority of Oklahomans remained safe over the last few days, a handful of others were seriously injured or killed.

Our Oklahoma car accident lawyers at Colbert Cooper Hill Attorneys explain that law enforcement is reporting that traffic accidents are to blame for the loss of ten lives this past weekend. This is a decrease from the total of eleven lives that were lost during the 2014 holiday, five of which were caused by intoxicated motorists.

According to an article from Oklahoma’s 9 News, the fatalities that were recorded consisted of six occupants of cars, trucks, or SUVs, two motorcyclists, one motorcycle passenger, and three pedestrians. Investigators are still working to determine if drugs or alcohol played a factor in any of the accidents.

Officers and troopers also reported that they were able to make 52 arrests while conducting sobriety checkpoints and saturation patrols throughout the state of Oklahoma.

At Colbert Cooper Hill Attorneys, we are aware of the dangers that can be found on our state’s roads and highways around holidays. That’s why our Oklahoma personal injury attorneys would like to applaud our state’s law enforcement agencies and staff for working so hard to keep Oklahoma’s streets and roads safe during the 4th of July festivities.

Oklahoma Car Accident Lawyers Offer Tips to Stay Safe on the Road This 4th of July

by Keith Adkins

This weekend is the 4th of July and for many, that means it’s time to hit the road for a vacation. According to an article from the Skiatook Journal, estimates show there will be 41.9 million Americans traveling farther than 50 miles from home—around 556,200 of whom are Oklahomans.

With so many people on our state’s highways and roads, it’s important to keep safety in mind. That’s why our Oklahoma car accident lawyers would like to offer these tips to help reduce your chances of being involved in a motor vehicle collision.

  • Get Plenty of Rest– It’s easy to become fatigued while behind the wheel on a long road trip, so be sure to get plenty of sleep before you leave for your destination. If you find yourself getting tired while driving, pull over and rest at the next safe location.
  • Don’t Drink and Drive– Alcohol may be served at many of the events and festivities surrounding the 4th of July. If you choose to indulge in alcohol this weekend, designate a driver before heading out. If you cannot establish a sober driver, plan to use a cab or ride-sharing service to get you home safely.
  • Eliminate Distractions– When driving, put your phone down, refrain from eating and drinking, and don’t focus on other passengers in the vehicle. Also, remember to adjust the stereo before moving the vehicle.
  • Obey the Law– This means don’t speed or tailgate and remember to move over for stopped emergency vehicles.

At Colbert Cooper Hill Attorneys, we know not all crashes can be prevented. That’s why we suggest these five steps to follow after an auto accident if you are involved in a collision.

We hope this information helps to keep you and your loved ones safe during the upcoming 4th of July weekend!

Expanded Takata Airbag Recall Affects More Than 34 Million Vehicles

by Keith Adkins

Two weeks ago, auto parts manufacturer Takata Corporation expanded a massive vehicle recall stemming from faulty airbags the company manufactured and installed in several makes and models of vehicles in the U.S. Our Oklahoma defective product lawyers at Colbert Cooper Hill Attorneys explain that it seems as though the recall may have taken a twist.

The Takata airbag recall was launched after it was discovered that the propellant used to inflate the airbags in the event of an accident had a defect that allowed it to degrade over time. If this occurred and the airbag was activated, the reaction could be strong enough to cause debris from the unit to be launched toward occupants in the vehicle. This can be considered a safety hazard, with six deaths and more than 100 injuries linked to the problem.

Since the Takata airbag recall has been initiated, Takata has come forward to say that vehicles that previously had faulty airbags replaced may need to have the new airbags replaced as well due to the same problem. According to an article from KOCO News, officials are concerned motorists may ignore this fact, thinking they have already addressed the problem.

At Colbert Cooper Hill Attorneys, we know the risks that are posed by driving a vehicle with defective equipment. That’s why our Oklahoma personal injury lawyers encourage you to have your vehicle inspected if you receive a recall notice. Also, you can stay informed on the latest recalls involving your vehicle by regularly checking safeercar.gov for information about recalls affecting your vehicle.

Gov. Fallin Signs Law Banning Texting and Driving in Oklahoma

by Keith Adkins

Distracted driving is quickly becoming one of the greatest hazards on road across the United States, and Oklahoma is no exception. Data from the Oklahoma Highway Patrol shows that as many as 1,700 Oklahoma car accidents were the result of distracted driving in 2009. That number has only increased over the years.

These statistics prompted Oklahoma’s lawmakers to take action to put an end to distracted driving in our state. Earlier this month, lawmakers moved one step closer to that goal. According to an article from the Insurance Journal, Gov. Mary Fallin recently signed a bill into law that would prohibit motorists in Oklahoma from texting and driving at the same time.

The Trooper Nicholas Dees and Trooper Keith Birch Act makes sending or reading text messages via an electronic device while driving a primary offense. This means officers do not need to witness a distracted motorist commit another infraction before they can be pulled over and ticketed. Violations are punishable by a $100 citation.

Exceptions to the Oklahoma texting and driving ban include if the text message is being sent during an emergency situation or if a hands-free device is being used to compose and send the text message.

At Colbert Cooper Hill Attorneys, we’ve seen the devastating results distracted driving can have on the lives of accident victims and their families. That’s why our Oklahoma personal injury lawyers applaud the efforts being made to reduce texting and driving in our state and encourage you to do your part for the cause by putting your phone down while driving.

Lawmakers and Community Members Host Motorcycle Safety Day in Oklahoma City

by Keith Adkins

Over the past several years, the number of motorcycles that are registered in the state of Oklahoma has risen. Unfortunately, this increase in the number of bikers on the road has correlated with a larger number of serious motorcycle accidents.

Data from the Oklahoma Highway Safety Office shows there was a 2 percent gain in the number of motorcycle endorsements issued between 2012 – 2013. During that same time frame, Oklahoma motorcycle accident fatalities increased by almost 11 percent.

In order to help address the risks of riding a motorcycle in Oklahoma, officials have declared the month of May to be Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month. The campaign kicks off today with the 2nd Annual Motorcycle Safety Day being held in Oklahoma City.

As part of the event, speakers—including LT. Governor Todd Lamb, Directors of ODOT and OHSO, the Commissioner of the DPS, the Chief of the Patrol, and Senator Paddack—will each discuss topics concerning motorcycle safety. These include the use of proper safety gear, getting licensed to ride a motorcycle, sharing the road with other vehicles, and seeking training before taking a motorcycle out on the road.

According to an article from 1600 KUSH AM, the event kicks off at 11 a.m. and will continue until around 2 p.m. at the South Plaza of the Oklahoma State Capitol.

At Colbert Cooper Hill Attorneys, we are aware of the important role educational events can play in motorcycle safety. That’s why our Oklahoma personal injury lawyers encourage you to attend if you or a loved one ride motorcycles. Doing so could save a life.

 

Oklahoma City Auto Accident Attorneys Discuss Teenage Drunk Driving

by Keith Adkins

Many teens in Oklahoma are beginning to catch spring fever as prom and graduation quickly approach. The Oklahoma City auto accident attorneys with Colbert Cooper Hill Attorneys say it’s important for teens to be reminded that this time of year is notorious for having a high number of drunk driving accidents involving young people.

The Youth Risk Behavior Survey shows up to 35 percent of teens admit to consuming alcohol within the past month. Ten percent of those individuals stated they drove after drinking, while 22 percent said they had been a passenger in a vehicle driven by an intoxicated individual.

Those who are responsible for causing drunk driving accidents can be held liable for their actions as well. The family of a 17-year-old Oklahoma boy who was killed in a drunk driving car accident was recently awarded a $1.5 million settlement in an Oklahoma drunk driving lawsuit. According to the Insurance Journal, the suit claimed the liquor store that sold alcohol to an underage motorist and the school district were directly responsible for their loss.

One of the best ways to prevent your child from being involved in a drunk driving accident is to regularly talk with them about the dangers this behavior can pose. At Colbert Cooper Hill Attorneys, our Oklahoma personal injury lawyers also suggest creating a contract with teen drivers that specifically states they will not get behind the wheel of a vehicle while intoxicated. Taking these two simple precautions could save your child’s life.

 

 

Oklahoma Motorcycle Accident Lawyers Discuss Safety as Riding Season Begins

by Keith Adkins

Motorcycle season is officially in full swing in Oklahoma. But with more bikes on the road during the coming months, the Oklahoma motorcycle accident lawyers with Colbert Cooper Hill Attorneys would like to remind everyone about the importance of safety and vigilance.

The Oklahoma Highway Safety Office reports that in 2013, there were a total of 1,541 Oklahoma motorcycle accidents reported. Of those crashes, 92 were fatal and a majority resulted in serious injuries to riders.

One of the best ways for bikers to avoid collisions is to get formally trained on safety and the proper operation of a motorcycle. Motorcycle safety and riding courses are taught throughout the year, and the Oklahoma Highway Patrol recently held an educational event for members of the Christian Motorcycle Association.

The class offers attendees an opportunity to learn the theory behind the safe operation of a motorcycle in a classroom setting before applying what is learned during a hands-on riding tutorial held on a closed course.

For more information about the dates and locations where these courses are being offered, be sure to check out the Motorcycle Safety Foundation website.

At Colbert Cooper Hill Attorneys, we know the importance of motorcycle safety and understand how taking the time to get the training you need could save your life or that of another motorist. For that reason, our Oklahoma personal injury lawyers encourage you to participate in a rider safety course before taking your bike out on the road this year.

Common Factors That Lead to Serious Oklahoma Car Accidents

by Keith Adkins

Every time you step into a vehicle in Oklahoma, you’re putting yourself at risk of being involved in a crash. One of the best ways to avoid such a collision is to be aware of what factors put you at an increased risk of injury or death in the event of involvement in a collision and the Oklahoma City car accident lawyers with Colbert Cooper Hill Attorneys are here to let you in on some of the most recent demographics regarding motor vehicle injuries and fatalities in our state.

A report released from the Oklahoma Department of Public Safety shows that a majority of the auto accidents that occurred last month in our state—especially those that were fatal— happened over the weekend. According to 1600kush.com, both Saturdays and Sundays in February saw a total of six fatalities, while Fridays saw a total of five lost lives.

Consuming alcohol was also one of the most common and most preventable causes of accidents in Oklahoma last month. Drunk driving accounted for a total of 28 motor vehicle fatalities last month alone. Of those deaths, motorists between the ages of 21 and 30 were at the greatest risk of losing their life in an Oklahoma car accident involving a drunk driver.

Failure to be properly restrained also led to a large number of fatalities, considering 48 percent of those who lost their lives in Oklahoma motor vehicle crashes last month were not buckled up at the time of the accident.

At Colbert Cooper Hill Attorneys, we recognize the dangers of driving and our Oklahoma City personal injury lawyers ask that you keep safety on your mind each and every time you get behind the wheel of a vehicle.