August 28, 2013 /24-7PressRelease/
-- With automobiles playing such an important role in everyday life, many people in Portland often treat them as extensions of their home or office. However, trying to multi-task while driving is a risky behavior and can result in a car accident
where someone else is injured or even killed.
The 2011 crash report for Oregon shows that there were 49,053 crashes reported with 331 deaths and over 35,000 injuries. Breaking those numbers down even further, 11,288 crashes occurred in Portland; 34 people were killed and over 7,000 injuries occurred. What the report does not indicate is how many of those collisions were caused by distraction.
What is distracted driving?
Recently, a 19-year-old driver caused a two vehicle crash in the Portland area when he crossed over the line and hit another vehicle head-on according to KOIN. The crash left that driver and four others seriously injured. The exact reason for the accident is unknown but it is clear that something caused the driver to take his attention off of the road in front of him.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention defines distracted driving as any type of activity that requires the driver to take their hand off of the steering wheel, their eyes off of the road and their mind off of what they should be focusing on. Distracted driving includes:
Using a cell phone
Eating or drinking
Reading a map
Talking with passengers
Playing with dash controls
Doing one's hair or makeup
Cell phone use is considered the most dangerous distracted behavior because it incorporates all three types of distracted driving. However, drivers should also be aware that even in-vehicle technologies can increase their risk of being involved in a crash that results in serious injuries. These include navigational systems and movie players.
Oregon has already addressed the issue of texting while driving by making it illegal. This year the state legislature passed a new law, increasing the fine that violators pay, according to Northwest Watchdog. The original proposal asked for an increased fine of $2,000 but that was reduced to $500. While some feel that the state is trying to act as a parent over drivers, increasing the fine for texting and driving sends a strong message that it is a dangerous behavior.
Distraction.gov reports that in 2011, 10 percent of crashes, resulting in injury, were attributed to distraction. However, that number may actually be higher since many people are reluctant to tell an officer just what they were doing when the accident happened. It is important for people to realize that any type of behavior that is not related to driving has the potential to cause harm to someone else. Drivers should make a commitment to eliminate as many distractions as possible.
If you are injured in a car accident, you should meet with an experienced attorney in your area to learn how you can pursue appropriate compensation.