As with many other states, texting and driving in Oklahoma became illegal several years ago. A conviction of this offense can result in fines for drivers as well as other negative consequences.
More importantly, texting and driving can cause motor vehicle accidents that result in property damage, injuries and fatalities.
A form of distracted driving
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration considers texting and driving as an especially dangerous type of distracted driving. In 2020, the NHTSA said that distracted driving took the lives of 3,142 people. Distracted driving includes a number of common activities that reduce the driver’s concentration on the road:
- Eating and drinking
- Texting or talking on a phone
- Talking with passengers
- Playing with stereo buttons
- Looking at the navigation system
Any activity that causes a driver to take his or her eyes off the road increases the likelihood of a crash. Of all of these actions, texting remains one of the most dangerous activities. Texting causes the driver to look down for an average of about five seconds. This allows a person driving at 55 miles per hour to travel more than a hundred yards.
A violation of state law
The Oklahoma Motor Vehicle Violation Codes places texting and driving under the category of inattentive driving. A couple of the violations for texting and driving, or using a hand-held mobile device while driving, only apply to commercial vehicle operators.
The one category that applies to regular drivers shows that the citation does not result in points on the driver’s license, nor can the person receive extra penalties for failing to pay a fine or failing to appear in court. Though texting and driving in Oklahoma carries minimal punitive measures, it still could include other consequences.