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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.

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.

Bill Aims to Reduce Oklahoma Car Accident Numbers By Preventing Distracted Driving

by Keith Adkins

Distracted driving continues to be a serious threat to motorists on Oklahoma’s roads and highways. Data from the Oklahoma Highway Patrol shows as many as 1,700 Oklahoma car accidents are caused by driver inattention each year in our state and one of the leading distractions is using electronic devices behind the wheel. This leaves many citizens wondering what is being done to better protect motorists in Oklahoma from distracted drivers.

There are currently no laws that keep motorists from using electronic devices while driving, but one state Senator is hoping to change that soon. According to an article from the Insurance Journal, Senator Ron Sharp is sponsoring Senate Bill 67. The piece of legislation calls for any motorist who is caught using an electronic device while driving to be charged with a misdemeanor offense, punishable by a $1,00 fine, up to a year in jail, or both.

An infraction would be considered a secondary offense. That means a law enforcement officer would have to observe the driver commit another offense before they could stop and cite the motorist.

The only exception to the rule would be if a motorist was operating the device using Bluetooth or another type of hands-free technology.

At Colbert Cooper Hill Attorneys, we recognize the dangers distracted driving poses and our Oklahoma personal injury lawyers hope to see Senator Sharps’ bill approved when it’s reviewed during the next legislative session.

What You Can Do if Your Oklahoma Car Accident Was Caused by Faulty Infrastructure

by Keith Adkins

There’s an endless list of possible causes for an Oklahoma car accident, but one of the most concerning is faulty and defective infrastructure. Many of the bridges and highways that were constructed in Oklahoma are now more than 40 years old, and do not meet the same standards that are required for similar construction projects that are breaking ground today.

Take for instance the Oklahoma car accident that was caused by concrete falling from a bridge, which left one man seriously injured. Reports indicate the incident occurred on Monday, October 13th, along U.S. Route 75 at the Archer Street Bridge underpass in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

An article from KJRH 2 News explains the victim was traveling along the highway when three pieces of concrete from the bridge broke free after being struck by a car and came crashing down onto the vehicle below.

The bridge was constructed in 1971 and doesn’t meet the same standards that current bridge construction projects must adhere to. Despite this fact, ODOT claims the bridge is still structurally sound and says the concrete falling was a result of the collision and not deterioration of the structure.

So what should you do if you believe an accident you were involved in was the result of defective infrastructure? The Oklahoma personal injury lawyers with Colbert Cooper Hill Attorneys suggest:

  • Seek Medical Attention– the most important thing for you to do after an accident is get treatment for your injuries.
  • Report the Incident– It’s important that problems with roadways and highway structures be reported to state and federal authorities immediately.
  • Document the Crash– This includes taking photos of damages and injuries, as well as keeping receipts for all crash-related expenses.
  • Talk to an Attorney– Speaking with a lawyer will help answer any questions you have regarding your legal rights as they pertain to your accident.

 

4 Ways To Stay Safe At the Bricktown 4th Fest

by Keith Adkins

The 4th of July is fast approaching this week and for many that means it’s time to celebrate! That’s why our team of Oklahoma personal injury lawyers from Colbert, Cooper, Hill Attorneys would like to tell you about one of the best ways to commemorate the holiday in the area.

The Bricktown 4th Fest is only in its second year, but already has big things in store for this year and the future. According to an article from KOCO News, the event will kick off this Friday afternoon at 4 p.m. between Sheridan and Oklahoma Avenues in downtown. The festivities will start with live music from local acts and will culminate with a fireworks display that will begin at 9:30 p.m.

Organizers say that last year’s event attracted more than 5,000 patrons and this year’s event is expected to be even larger.

We would like to point out that the large volume of partygoers and vehicles in the area will not only clog traffic, but will also increase the chances of being involved in an Oklahoma car accident. To help avoid these hazards, the law firm is offering several safety tips to the public, including:

  • Plan Ahead- Know where you are going and what route you plan to take prior to heading out. It may prove beneficial to check traffic conditions before leaving as well.
  • Don’t Drink and Drive- Alcohol is one of the leading contributing factors to accidents on holidays, so remember that alcohol and getting behind the wheel don’t mix.
  • Be Vigilant- Pedestrians and other hazards may be present on the road, so look twice before moving or entering traffic.
  • Buckle Up- This is the best way to prevent injury or death in the event of involvement in a motor vehicle collision.

Oklahoma House Bill Aims to Ban Texting and Driving

by Staff

Distracted driving is a serious problem on the roadways of the United States today, especially in Oklahoma. Studies show that in 2011, distracted driving was considered a contributing factor in an estimated 387,000 crashes and more than 3,300 fatalities.

In an effort to combat the problem of distracted driving and its associated Oklahoma car accidents, lawmakers are considering a bill that would ban drivers from texting while at the wheel of a moving vehicle. An infraction would be considered a primary offense, which means an officer could stop a driver simply for engaging in the behavior. Furthermore, anyone convicted of an offense would face a fine of up to $500.

According to KOCO News, similar legislation has been introduced in the House of Representatives in the past, but has been met with backlash that resulted in it failing to be approved.

While many citizens feel that House Bill 2540 would make the state’s roadways safer, opponents of the law believe it could encroach on the civil liberties of citizens.

Until the bill is passed though, the Oklahoma personal injury lawyers with Colbert Cooper Hill Attorneys explain it is up to each citizen to do their part to keep the state’s roadways free of distracted drivers. This means putting your phone down while at the wheel of a vehicle and encouraging others to do the same.

Oklahoma Lawmakers Focus on Problem of Texting and Driving

by Staff

Texting and driving is a concern for many Oklahoma residents. Last year, the nation saw a total of 3,000 lives lost due to distracted driving with nine of those deaths occurring in Oklahoma Car Accidents. Additionally, an estimated 500,000 people were injured in motor vehicle accidents caused by distracted driving and each year the number continues to increase.

In an effort to battle the growing problem, FOX 23 News reports that state legislators are considering tougher laws. In Oklahoma, drivers with a permit or operating a bus are not allowed to text and drive. However, lawmakers are considering a piece of legislation mirroring an ordinance already in place in Tulsa that would ban all motorists from texting while driving.

If the law was passed, it would make Oklahoma the fortieth state to enact such a law, but there is a long road ahead before that happens. Similar laws have been shot down in the past. Supporters are hopeful though, citing statistics showing a growing number of drivers in favor of stricter laws. Recent polls show 94 percent of teens and 82 percent of adults in favor of a texting and driving ban.

The Oklahoma Personal Injury Lawyers with J. Colbert Injury Lawyers are hopeful the new laws will better protect motorists from distracted drivers. If you or a loved one has been hurt in a car accident due to distracted driving, our law firm is here to help.

Man flees after Tulsa auto accident

by jcl

A man fled the scene of a Tulsa auto accident that occurred at 61st Street Friday night, according to News on 6.

The Tulsa car accident occurred when the man was driving his car on 61st street toward Lewis Avenue and lost control on a curve.

The car then went off the road and into an embankment, bounced when it struck a chain-link fence, and finally crashed into a tree.

The driver in the Oklahoma auto accident fled the scene. Police continue to look for him.

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The Tulsa auto accident lawyers at J. Colbert Injury Lawyers can help if you were injured in an Oklahoma car accident.

Police search for man involved in Tulsa auto accident

by jcl

KJRH reported that police are searching for a man involved in a fatal Tulsa auto accident that was deemed a hit-and-run.

The Tulsa car accident occurred Sunday night around 10:30 when a man crossing Edison Road was hit by a vehicle. The first vehicle that struck him stopped to help; however, they say a second vehicle, a dark Chevy Impala, hit the man and dragged him about 75 feet. The first vehicle involved in the Oklahoma auto accident had to drive out of the way of the Impala to avoid being hit by it. The Tulsa auto accident victim was not able to get out of the way.

Police continue to search for the driver of the Impala.

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The Tulsa auto accident lawyers at J. Colbert Injury Lawyers can help if you have been injured in an Oklahoma car accident.

Oklahoma Auto Accident Kills One

by jcl

An Oklahoma auto accident killed one person over the weekend, according to KOCO.

The fatal Oklahoma car accident occurred in a pasture in Stillwater where the driver of a truck crashed into several trees.

The Oklahoma auto accident victim’s vehicle then caught fire after crashing around 1:00 a.m. Saturday morning.

The name of the Oklahoma auto accident victim who died at the scene of the crash has not been released at this time.

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The Oklahoma auto accident attorneys at J. Colbert Injury Lawyers can help if you have been injured in a car accident.