Every day, there are more than 191 car accidents that occur in Oklahoma alone. Sadly, the death and injury rate for car accidents in Oklahoma is above the national average per capita, putting all Oklahoma drivers at risk as they travel.
Oklahoma has recently been named the tenth most dangerous American state to drive in. Between 2007 and 2009 Oklahoma averaged 711 deaths from auto accidents per year. This equates to approximately 19.5 Deaths per 100,000 residents.
In just one year, medical costs as a direct result of auto injury fatalities were estimated at nearly $6 million. Unfortunately, despite the efforts of local lawmakers, motor vehicle fatalities have increased in recent months. The Oklahoma Department of Public Safety reported 20 more auto fatalities in March 2012 when compared to March 2011.
There are several potential reasons for Oklahoma’s elevated auto death rate. Some experts believe that it might have something to do with Oklahoma’s lenient driving laws. Oklahoma has yet to instate mandatory ignition locks for convicted drunk drivers, booster seat requirements for children under eight, and universal helmet laws for motorcyclists. Although Oklahoma has had a seat belt law instated since 1987, there is only a $20 fine for first-time offenders with unbuckled belts (only seven other states impose lower fines). These risk factors, coupled with the ever-increasing number of distracted drivers on the road, can make for some extremely dangerous conditions.
It is important, especially for Oklahoma drivers, to be prepared in the event of a car crash. Of course, safe driving habits are always your best bet to prevent danger on the roadways, however, sometimes accidents can’t be avoided. Remember that the insurance companies are a profit business, and will try to pay out as little compensation as possible if you have been injured. They will oftentimes use confusing language and record phone calls, hoping you will somehow say something that can be used against your claim. If you have been injured in an accident, it is important you speak to an experienced lawyer right away. They will get to the facts and speak to the insurance companies for you, this way you won’t be taken advantage of and will receive the full compensation you are entitled to.