Oklahoma Car Accident Lawyers

Oklahoma Distracted Driving Laws

Oklahoma state law demands that every driver pay attention to the road at all times. To begin with, drivers cited for distracted driving may face a fine that only grows with each violation. Drivers who aren’t focused on the road are also more prone to cause accidents. An officer observing you engaged in dangerous behavior behind the wheel could also pin the blame for a crash on you and leave you financially liable for all recovery costs.

What Kinds of Distracted Driving Is Illegal in Oklahoma?

Distracted driving leads to thousands of accidents in Oklahoma each year (see stats below). Careless drivers can pay attention to a text or be looking at themselves in the mirror and miss a light changing to red or a traffic slowdown ahead. These lapses in judgment lead to accidents every day.

Oklahoma Statute 47-11-901b.

“The operator of every vehicle, while driving, shall devote their full time and attention to such driving…”

Distracted driving involves any activity that diverts your attention from the road. The website for the State of Oklahoma lists these as just some of the examples of activities and behaviors that can pose a dangerous distraction:

  • Texting or talking on the phone
  • Eating and drinking
  • Interacting with passengers
  • Fiddling with the radio or navigation apps

As of 2024, law enforcement officers are not supposed to cite or pull people over for driving while distracted unless the person causes an accident or the driver poses a clear hazard to others.

Oklahoma Statute 47-11-901b continues:

“…No law enforcement officer shall issue a citation under this section unless the law enforcement officer observes that the operator Oklahoma Statutes – Title 47. Motor Vehicles Page 418 of the vehicle is involved in an accident or observes the operator of the vehicle driving in such a manner that poses an articulable danger to other persons on the roadway that is not otherwise specified in statute.”

What Kind of Fine Can You Get for Distracted Driving in Oklahoma?

If an officer with the Oklahoma Highway Patrol or a local police officer cites you for distracted driving, you could pay a $100 fine. That would go up if you were a repeat offender.

Drivers must be careful though. Distraction can lead to drivers not noticing they are speeding or running someone off the road. If an officer charges someone with reckless driving under Oklahoma Statute §47-11-901., violators could face jail time and a fine of up to $500. Upon a second offense, those convicted could see 6 months in jail and a fine of up to $1,000.

Oklahoma Cell Phone and Texting Laws

Of course, the greatest attention-grabber drivers must resist are cell phones. Oklahoma has texting laws that prohibit drivers from typing into a cell phone for any reason while they drive. Drivers should not be writing texts or emails or reading them while behind the wheel. They shouldn’t be using social media or taking photos or videos either.

Drivers under 18 in Oklahoma are prohibited from texting or making calls with a cell phone. They can’t make a call for any reason unless it’s an emergency situation.

You can read more about Oklahoma’s cell phone laws and potential changes to the law on our page here.

How Many Distracted Driving Accidents Are There in Oklahoma Each Year?

The Oklahoma Public Safety Office released statistics from 2021 on distracted driving accidents in the state. According to their research, Oklahoma recorded almost 8,000 accidents blamed on distracted drivers for the year. 44 of those accidents involved the tragic loss of life.

The data shows that Friday is when distracted driving causes the most accidents. 5 pm to 6 pm is the hour of the day that contributed to the most distracted driving incidents.

In Oklahoma City and Oklahoma County, there were 2,148 total distracted driving collisions. 664 of those accidents involved an injury and 8 crashes involved a fatality. Those figures were provided by both the Oklahoma Highway Patrol (OHP) and the Oklahoma City Police Department.

In Tulsa and Tulsa County, there were 1,137 distracted driving collisions documented by the OHP and the Tulsa Police Department. At least 521 of those accidents involved an injury, and 6 crashes involved fatalities. It remains to be seen if we can make improvements to these sad accident rates in 2024 and beyond.

Contact An Oklahoma Car Accident Lawyer If You Are Struck By a Distracted Driver

Oklahoma drivers can be distracted by so many different things and a cell phone is at the top of the list. If a reckless motorist strikes you and you are seriously injured, you should speak to a skilled Oklahoma car accident lawyer at Ylla|Gosney. We help victims and their families in Tulsa, Oklahoma City, and across the state.

Contact us to schedule a free, no-obligation case consultation. It’s the best way to find out what your case may be worth before you speak to an insurance representative who may tell you something very different. If you require a car accident attorney to get the most out of your car accident claim, you won’t need any money to hire us. We don’t get paid unless your case is won. Then our attorney’s fee comes out of the settlement check an auto insurer must provide to you and your family.