Distracted driving in Oregon blamed for over 10,000 crashes

Distracted driving in Oregon: Statistics and laws

The Oregon Department of Transportation reports that distracted driving practices played a role in 10,814 car accidents between 2012 and 2016 in the state. These accidents led to 70 deaths and 16,503 injuries.

Lawmakers' attempts to protect drivers in Oregon

Certain distracted driving practices are outlawed in Oregon. In 2017 the state passed a law that made it illegal to hold or use an electronic device while driving. In 2018, the state expanded this law. The change went into effect on January 1 of 2018 and allows courts the ability to waive the penalty for a first-time offense. In exchange for the penalty waiver, the offender must agree to partake in a Distracted Driving Avoidance course. The idea behind the law is to reduce the risk of a re-offense as opposed to focus on penalizing the driver. Ideally, the driver will learn from the course and refrain from partaking in similar distractions while driving in the future.

Efforts to reduce distracted driving

The shift with the new law in Oregon is just one of many efforts to reduce the risk of distracted driving on our roadways. Efforts are present to help address this problem. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) provides one example.

The agency recently announced its fifth annual distracted driving campaign. This campaign, called "U Drive. U Text. U Pay." is geared specifically for drivers aged 18 to 34. "Distracted driving kills," stated United States Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx at the kick off for the campaign. "Across the country, we are putting distracted drivers on notice: U Drive. U Text. U Pay. Texting and driving will at least cost you the price of a ticket but could very well cost you your life or someone else's."

The message is a strong one: no texting or no keys. The administration is strongly encouraging parents set an example for their children. To refrain from using technology like smartphones while driving. Parents are also encouraged to take away driving privileges if teens still do not get the message and choose to text when they are driving.

Remedies for those who are injured in a distracted driving accident

Another way to help reduce the risk of distracted driver on our roadways is to hold those who violate these laws accountable for their actions. Victims of distracted driving accidents in Oregon have options. An attorney experienced in car accident claims can provide counsel to help you meet this goal. This can include leading negotiations with insurance companies and investigating the accident to gather evidence to support a claim for a civil suit. This counsel can help to better ensure you receive the compensation you are entitled.