Dangers of Distracted Driving
Oregon distracted driving laws are in place to protect people from the very real dangers of other drivers not paying full attention while on the road. If a driver was illegally distracted under Oregon law it can affect potential financial recovery. Distracted driving comes into play when considering liability and damages. Many people are aware of the dangers of drunk driving, but people may not be aware of just how dangerous distracted driving can be. The statistics referenced by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are sobering, to say the least. It is a real public health concern. If you or a loved one was injured by a distracted driver, the personal injury lawyers of Johnson Law can help. We offer free consultations.
Oregon Distracted Driving Laws
Only a few types of distracted driving are made explicitly illegal in Oregon. Most people think of distracted driving as talking or texting on their phones. However, distracted driving also encompasses anything that takes your eyes off the road, takes your hands off the steering wheel, or takes your mind off of driving. The severity of the impairment depends on the activity, but there is no doubt that distracted driving is extremely dangerous.
Since 2010, it has been illegal in Oregon to use a handheld device while driving. This means that holding your phone to either talk or text while driving is illegal. It is, however, legal to talk or text using a hands-free device. This includes doing things such as using your car's speakerphone features or most activities through your phone's digital assistant. Siri, Google, and Alexa have increased the potential for drivers to do legal, but still potentially distracting activities while driving. Also, for now, using airpods or any other type of headphones is allowed in Oregon, but not in Washington.
Oregon Distracted Driving Laws and Bicyclists
One thing to consider is that under Oregon law bicycles are considered vehicles. The same distracted driving laws that affect cars apply to bicyclists. There was an Oregon appeals case that determined bicycles are affected by statutes that affect motor-vehicles unless there are specific exceptions in the statutes for bicycles.
Based on our experience as Portland Car Accident Lawyers, we believe everyone should do their best to put their phones away and keep their focus on the road. The risk is usually not worth the reward. Most phone calls are not so urgent and can wait until someone is safely at their destination. If you were injured by a driver you believe was distracted, you can contact us for a free consultation. We will help you learn your options.
Distracted Driving Statistics
The CDC reported that 2,841 people were killed in motor vehicle crashes involving distracted drivers in 2018. The highest number of distracted drivers involved in fatal crashes were aged between 20-29. The Oregon Department of Transportation tracks statistics related to distracted driving. Their 2021 fact sheet reports that between 2014-2018 there were 22,410 fatal and injury crashes involving a distracted driver in Oregon alone!
At Johnson Law we have seen first-hand just how devastating accidents involving distracted driving can be. When a person is not concentrating on the road in front of them, it can lead to delayed reaction times, which can lead to serious injuries. Even just half a second can be the difference between a close call and serious injury or death. If you have been hurt in an accident and need a Portland car accident lawyer, contact Johnson Law for a free consultation.