Driver Fatigue is a Persistent Issue on Portland Roads

Recent news coverage in Portland and across the state of Oregon has shined a spotlight on an important roadway safety issue that we would like to address from a legal perspective. Almost every week, articles and televised broadcasts cover yet more Oregon auto accidents in which driver fatigue is a crash contributor. If it isn’t already, this should be an issue of concern to Portland drivers, bikers, and pedestrians alike.

Several months ago Portland newspapers and radio stations were tuned in to a transport union’s contract bargaining dispute in which distracted driving was a significant issue. At that time, local activists and an organization called Oregonians for Safe Transit had started a campaign to raise awareness of bus driver overtime practices that were leaving drivers fatigued and endangering those who might come into contact with their vehicles. Oregonians for Safe Transit issued a report that described how Portland bus drivers were working up to 22 consecutive hours and – not surprisingly – falling asleep on the job.

United States Federal law applies to interstate train operators, but not to bus or train operators who work within the boundaries of one state. Unlike Portland’s bus drivers, train operators are required to take a minimum of seven hours off in between shifts. This rule is in place to guarantee that train operators can get the rest that they need in between shifts in order to do their jobs properly and safely. The Portland drivers who were the focus of the organizing campaign this winter were not allowed to work for more than 17 hours without a break, but they also weren’t guaranteed any specific period of time off between shifts.

Driver fatigue is not only an issue for bus drivers – it is a real problem for everyday commuters. In a recent report issued by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (USCDC), 1 out of 24 U.S. drivers self-reported falling asleep while driving in the previous month. This study highlights an issue that affects drivers throughout the United States and which is well-documented in Oregon. According to the Oregon Department of Transportation’s most recent Motor Vehicle Traffic Crash Data publication, last year 8 percent of all motor vehicle crashes in the state of Oregon involved exhausted drivers.

If you or someone you love has been injured in a motor vehicle accident and you believe that fatigue was a factor leading to your injuries, contact a Portland auto accident lawyer right away. The compassionate, dedicated, and experienced attorneys at Dwyer Williams Potter Personal Injury Attorneys LLP would be happy to investigate your auto accident injury claim. Call us today for a free consultation at 888-700-4337.

Large Settlement for Portland Parking Lot Accident Victim

Dwyer Williams Potter Personal Injury Attorneys just settled a pedestrian injury claim without the need for costly and time-consuming litigation. The details of this accident are as follows…

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Our client had just finished shopping at a Portland Oregon convenience store and was loading purchases into her car when she was suddenly pinned between the passenger-side door and the frame of her car. A second driver had been trying to pull into the adjacent parking spot when he accidentally hit our client’s car door, which crushed our client. The force of the impact left our client with injuries for which she sought immediate medical attention.

After our client completed treatment for her accident-related injuries, the compassionate, experienced Portland Oregon auto accident and pedestrian injury lawyers at Dwyer Williams Potter evaluated her claim. After several rounds of negotiations, the adverse insurance company made its final settlement offer. We felt that the offer was low because it barely covered our client’s accident-related medical expenses.

We next sent a series of carefully-crafted letters to the adverse insurance company and to the driver who hit our client. In these letters, we explained that if we were to file a lawsuit related to the accident and win at trial, then these entities would be responsible for paying our attorney fees in addition to our client’s medical bills and any other awards. The insurance company immediately retracted its first “final” offer and increased that settlement offer by 20 percent. Our client’s case settled quickly and smoothly, and our client was more than happy with the results.

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