Distracted driving becoming a problem on Oregon’s roads

Recently, a driver caused an accident in Crook County that left six people injured when he was distracted by something outside of the car, according to The Oregonian. The vehicle traveled into the opposite lane of traffic where it crashed into another vehicle. Thankfully, everyone was wearing seat belts and though a couple of people suffered serious injuries in the car accident, they were expected to be all right.

Distracted driving laws’ ineffectiveness

Distracted driving has become a serious problem in Oregon as well as the rest of the country. While lawmakers are considering a bill to raise fines for those who text and drive, a survey from the U.S. Department of Transportation indicates that such laws may be ineffective. The survey, which was conducted on 6,016 drivers, showed that half of the drivers still will answer a call on their phone despite being supportive of hand-held cell phone bans.

The problem seems to be that drivers are unable to recognize the risks they are creating by using hand-held devices but feel that it is dangerous when others engage in it, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Many forms of distracted driving

Currently, the main focus appears to be on cell phones, but according to the NHTSA, there are many forms of distracted driving and these include:

  • Eating/drinking
  • Talking with people in the car
  • Focusing on objects outside the car
  • Doing one’s hair or makeup
  • Reading maps
  • Playing with a dash installed electronic such as a stereo

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention define distracted driving as any behavior that encourages a person to take their hands off of the steering wheel, their eyes off of the road ahead of them and their mind off of what they were doing. However, many people feel that they can multi-task in their vehicle just as they do at home or at work. What they do not realize is that they inadvertently put other people’s lives and well-being at risk.

Using the courts for justice

The driver who caused the crash in Crook County was handed a Failure to Maintain a Lane of Travel citation, and it is unknown whether he will face any other criminal charges. However, there are legal options for victims of distracted drivers and one of these is to file a civil lawsuit. While a civil lawsuit cannot undo the damage done by a distracted driver, it can hold that driver financially responsible for their actions. If you are the victim of a car accident in which distractive driving was a factor, you should discuss your case with an attorney who can help you seek civil justice.