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Distracted Driving Law Paying Dividends

KWGS News File Photo

An analysis of crashes in which at least one driver was using an electronic device shows significant reductions in both injuries and deaths since Oklahoma’s law banning texting by drivers went into effect.

When the months just before the texting law’s implementation are compared with the months directly afterwards:

·       Total crashes in which a driver was distracted by an electronic device fell 12.5 percent,

from 1,291 to 1,129

·       Injury crashes of this type plunged 21.6 percent, from 538 to 422

·       The number of fatal crashes dropped 30 percent, from 10 to 7

·       Non-injury crashes fell 5.8 percent, from 743 to 700.

“This Tuesday marks the one-year anniversary of the landmark legislation making it illegal for drivers in Oklahoma to use a handheld cell phone to send or read texts, emails or to send or look at photos or videos,” said Chuck Mai, spokesman for AAA Oklahoma. “The causes of motor vehicle crashes are many and varied but it’s clear that Oklahomans are thinking twice before picking up their cell phone while driving. Lives are being saved, injuries are being prevented and families are being saved the anguish of traffic collisions.”