Whether you’re on I-5, one of the bridges, or downtown, you’ve probably seen a lot of drivers talking or texting on their cell phones while driving or while stopped in traffic. A 2010 Oregon law (updated in 2012 to close a loophole that allowed work-related calls) mandated that adult drivers use hands-free devices to talk on phones while driving and prohibits teen drivers from talking and driving at all, with or without a hands-free device. However, the law – and its $110 fine for offenders – is largely ignored by many drivers. In a November 2011 survey conducted by Pemco Insurance, 1 in 3 Portland, Oregon drivers admitted to texting or using a handheld cell phone while driving. According to Oregon Department of Transportation statistics, car accidents involving cell phones injured 179 people and killed 4 people in 2011.
Unfortunate cases abound where innocent pedestrians, bicyclists, and other drivers have been killed or seriously injured by drivers using their cell phones. In a 2011 Portland, Oregon accident, a driver talking on her cell phone collided head-on with a car carrying two other women and a baby. All were injured and had to seek medical attention, though all were fortunate to live. Portland riders of public transportation have even had occasion to complain about TriMet drivers being distracted by cell phone use while driving, a serious public safety hazard.
The legal charges for drivers at-fault in fatal Portland, Oregon auto accidents involving distracted driving include careless driving resulting in the death of a vulnerable road user or reckless driving, if the accident also involves a traffic violation, such as running a red light. Consequences of conviction under these charges include fines and jail time. In non-fatal accidents involving cell phones, drivers are usually cited for traffic violations or for cell phone use, both of which cost the driver a fine. Ironically, for those who have been injured in a crash caused by a cell phone-using driver, the costs can be much steeper, including months of medical treatment, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
If you have been injured in a Portland, Oregon auto accident where the at-fault driver was using a cell phone or if you have lost a loved one in such an accident, we can help you get the settlement you deserve from the insurance company to help you pay medical expenses, recover lost wages, and get compensation for pain and suffering. One of our expert Portland, Oregon Personal Injury Attorneys will be happy to discuss your Portland, Oregon Personal Injury case with you. Call us now: 888-700-4337