What would we do without cell phones? These mobile devices make communicating with each other easy and instantaneous. Texting is easy and convenient; you can text anyone, anywhere. Despite the convenience, texting is a distraction that takes your attention off the task in front of you. If the task at hand happens to be driving, the results can be devastating.
Car accidents due to texting and distracted driving are becoming more and more common. As the number of injuries and fatalities increase due to texting while driving, tougher laws seek to break the texting habit, at least while drivers are behind the wheel.
Laws Get Tough on Texting While Driving
Forty-five states currently have laws that ban texting while driving, and new research seems to suggest that these laws have resulted in a drop in car crashes. Hospitalization rates regarding traffic accidents have dropped by seven percent in states that have laws banning texting, though researchers at Texas A&M School of Public Health can’t say definitively that the drop is indeed due to the ban. States with “primary enforcement” seem to have made the biggest impact. Primary enforcement of texting bans while driving mean that police and state troopers can pull a driver over if they suspect them of texting while driving. States with secondary enforcement, in which an officer can’t actually pull a driver over for texting, don’t appear to have quite the same impact in lowering the rate of serious injuries.
Oregon Laws On Texting While Driving
Oregon has been a primary enforcement state since 2009, meaning that officers can pull over driver’s suspected of texting while driving. The “no texting while driving” bill urges drivers to avoid all forms of distracted driving, including talking on mobile devices. There are some exemptions for drivers over the age of 18, such as being able to talk on a cell phone while using a hands-free device. However, for drivers under 18 the ban is complete; these drivers are prohibited from using a mobile device at all, except in cases of absolute emergency. Regardless of age, though, Oregon law bans all drivers from texting while operating a motor vehicle.
Texting While Driving Still Common
Despite laws banning texting while driving and increased public awareness campaigns, many drivers still find themselves looking at their incoming messages instead of keeping their eyes on the road. Statistics show that texting while driving makes it 26 times more likely a driver will cause a car accident. It is estimated that five seconds is the minimal amount of time a driver takes his eyes off the road while texting; if a driver is operating a car going 55 miles per hour, he could travel the length of a football field with his eyes off the road.
Contact Our Car Accident Attorney
If you have been injured in a car accident as a result of someone texting while driver, contact our experienced car accident attorneys. At Johnston Law Firm, P.C., we have experience handling accident caused by distracted driving. Our Portland accident attorneys will review your case, and help you to receive the compensation you deserve. Contact us today.