A timely reminder for this holiday weekend comes from USA Today travel columnist Bill McGee. His headline says it all: “Distracted While Driving? Pull Over!” The law, as he notes, is only part of the issue. Oregon is among the growing number of states that have banned texting and use of hand-held cellphones while driving. But it is worth remembering that aside from endangering yourself, your passengers and everyone else on the road distracted driving can leave you open to a significant Oregon personal injury judgment if a court finds you liable for an Oregon personal injury accident. As I’ve noted elsewhere on this blog, such a finding can take place even if the police do not issue a citation at the scene of the accident.
McGee cites some sobering statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, such as the fact that “distraction was a factor in 12% of all fatal crashes in 2004, but rose to 16% in 2008.”
The good news is that recognition of the problem is widespread. An Insurance Information Institute survey last summer found that 80% of respondents supported a ban on texting while driving. For handheld cellphone use the figure was 67%. Even allowing for the fact that an insurance industry survey might be tilted toward a ban (texting leads to more crashes; more crashes lead to more claims), the logic behind the data is hard to argue with.
If you have been the victim of a Portland traffic accident injury and think the driver involved may have been distracted it is crucial to seek the advice of an Oregon personal injury attorney as soon as possible. Even forms of distracted driving that are still, technically, legal may under some circumstances be construed as negligent for the purpose of a civil court case. An Oregon personal injury lawyer with expertise in distracted driving issues can offer advice and guidance and help you obtain the compensation you deserve.
USA Today: Distracted While Driving? Pull Over!