Summer provides plenty of opportunities for engaging in your favorite hobbies and activities. Unfortunately, it also provides plenty of chances for you to get distracted. Distracted driving continues to be a common problem in Oregon and is a leading cause of car accidents in Portland. To protect yourself, your passengers, and others on the road, it is important to be aware of the risks.
Distracted Driving is a Leading Cause of Car Accidents
Despite public awareness campaigns regarding the dangers and state laws limiting cell phone use, distracted driving continues to be one of the most common causes of car accidents. While talking on cell phones, texting, and taking pictures are among the biggest dangers, any activity that distracts you from the complex task of driving has the potential to put you at risk.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there are three main types of distractions drivers are likely to encounter:
- Visual distractions, such as looking for items in your vehicle or staring at sights you pass as you drive;
- Manual distractions, which can involve switching radio stations, changing GPS settings, or doing anything that causes you to take your hands off the steering wheel;
- Cognitive distractions, which take your mind off the road and surrounding traffic conditions. This could be as simple as talking to a passenger, getting lost in the music you are listening to while driving, or thinking about what you will do once you reach your destination.
It is important not to underestimate how dangerous the above activities or any type of distracted driving can be. It reduces the odds of responding in a timely manner to sudden changes in traffic, road, or weather conditions, increasing the risk of potentially deadly car accidents.
Distracted Driving In Portland: Know Your Risks
According to statistics from the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT), roughly 4,000 drivers and passengers in the state are killed as a result of distracted drivers each year. More than 5,000 others suffer potentially serious injuries in distracted driving crashes. Many of these accidents occur in the Portland area and they tend to increase over the summer months. Common reasons include:
- Heavier traffic on the roads;
- Increased visitors to our area;
- A general rush to fit in summer activities and to reach destinations.
To reduce your distracted driving risks, keep your cell phone turned off while driving, pull over if you need to change GPS settings, avoid eating or drinking behind the wheel, and keep your eyes on the road rather than looking at sights you are passing by. Give a wide berth to drivers who may be using their phones, weaving in their lanes, or showing other signs of being distracted.
Let Us Help You Today
At the Johnston Law Firm P.C., we help you get the compensation you need to recover when distracted driving accidents occur. Call (503) 546-3167 or contact our Portland car accident attorneys online to request a consultation today.