OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Safety officials are sounding the alarm once again on the dangers of distracted driving.

A new 50-page report from the Governor’s Highway Safety Association shows in 2020, more than 3,100 people died in distracted driving crashes in the U.S.

It’s estimated another 400,000 are injured each year, but it’s believed all of these numbers are grossly underreported.

Now they’re calling on drivers to take personal responsibility.

“This is a practice that is risky, that is dangerous, that is hurting and killing people,” said Pam Fischer, with the Governor’s Highway Safety Association. “I think we need to put a face on this problem, we need to recognize that it’s going to take all of us working together to address it.”

Fischer is a face of this problem.

She’s the survivor of a crash involving a drunken and distracted driver.  

“By the grace of God I’m here, but there are many other people that have been impacted,” Fischer said. 

In 2015, Oklahoma made texting and driving illegal.

If you’re caught, you face a $100 fine.

While Fischer says laws like this are a good step, they’re hard to enforce.

“People aren’t going to admit necessarily, ‘Hey, I was on my phone when I rear-ended this person’ and it’s very difficult to prove,” said Fischer. “Officers have to go through subpoenas, it’s very intensive.”

In 2021, a survey by AAA found just over 50% of drivers admitted to texting or emailing while alone in their vehicle.

“But then an even larger number of those same people say it’s really dangerous and you know what, I don’t want anyone else to do it but I’m OK, I can handle it,” said Fischer. 

She says in reality, no one can handle it and people need to start holding themselves and those around them accountable.

“It’s really about all of us recognizing that this is a problem. We need to change the social norm and that starts with each of us individually as well as calling out those in our circle,” Fischer said. 

Fischer says it’s important to note that food, drinks, other passengers and even your state of mind can all distract a driver.