Mom Urges Oklahoma Lawmakers To Act On Texting And Driving Bill
TULSA, Oklahoma - Four seconds is all it takes for a distracted driver to look away from the road before a crash, according to a study by AAA.
The new study comes as a bill banning texting and driving makes its way through the Oklahoma state legislature.
One mom knows the consequences of texting and driving all too well. Her son died in a crash about five years ago.
She's hoping legislation can help deter others in risking lives.
Cheryl Nichols said she drives a lot for work and she sees people texting and driving up and down roads across the state. She said if lawmakers don't do something to help change that trend, we could lose more loved ones to texting and driving.
It's one of the biggest dangers on the road according to AAA, and it's the cause of thousands of deaths each year.
Texting, updating social media and writing an email area all things drivers do every day – while driving.
It's also what Nichols says killed her son as he was driving from Cushing to Drumright in 2010.
“[He] was reading and sending text messages back and forth and lost control of the car and totaled the car out and my thing is, it just happened so fast,” Nichols said.
It was so fast -- she said -- there was nothing he could do.
Dallas Hutchison was 23 years old and succumbed to severe head trauma the morning after the crash.
The most frustrating part is Cheryl said her son knew better than to text and drive, but he did it anyway.
“You know, I grew up with dial phones and we didn't return phone calls until we got home or they called us at home or actually called us at home,” she said. “So far, I don't remember anybody being able to prevent anyone from dying or solving any problems any faster than we do nowadays."
Now she spends her spare time talking to students in schools across the state, telling Dallas' story and hoping legislators will listen.
“If we can teach our children not to do it and save one more kid, then it will be worth the effort," she said.
She wants texting and driving banned, and she wants it done now.
She said the longer we wait, the more lives we will continue to lose.
"No one sends a single solitary text message or reads a text message that is so important that it can't wait, that their life is worth taking that chance on just to read that... seriously,” she said.
The texting and driving bill heads to the floor for a vote this month.