Every Oregon road traffic accident is ultimately caused by a number of factors. It’s seldom just one thing, even if it’s no more than an unfortunate victim being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Some call that fate. Others call it just plain bad luck. A Portland injury lawyer understands that, in some cases, there can be a degree of negligence on the part of more than one driver that has led to an injury-causing accident. However, statistics now prove that the increasing tendency for both adults and teens to send, receive and read text messages while driving greatly increases the risk of road accidents and injuries.
It doesn’t take a genius to realize that texting while driving is, quite simply, a very bad and dangerous idea, but now there’s a new initiative whereby people are being encouraged to put down their phones and reduce the number of accidents and injuries caused by distracted drivers. The campaign is called TXT L8R, and an experienced Portland injury lawyer is joining the growing list of frontline responders to traffic accidents that are asking people to make the pledge to simply TXT L8R.
That list includes the people who are often first on the scene of an accident and have witnessed first hand the twisted metal and shattered lives that can result in a split second when a driver’s attention is distracted from the road. The NPG Group of broadcasters, such as News Channel 21, Fox Central Oregon and Central Oregon’s CW and Telemundo, as well as emergency responders from police and sheriff’s departments, as well as fire departments, are all asking people to join the movement.
Texting While Driving is Dangerous…Check the Statistics
The frightening but true statistics recently released show that at any given moment there are as many as 800,000 Americans texting or making calls while driving. Put quite simply, that means there are likely to be between 10,000 and 15,000 drivers on Oregon roads who just aren’t paying attention to the hazards all around them while you’re on your way to work, to school or to do the shopping. What is also true is that people who text while they drive are now proven to have a 23% greater likelihood of being in a car accident. A Portland injury lawyer could argue that anyone who injures someone else in a car accident because they were too busy texting to see the pedestrian crossing the road, or the bicyclist in front of them, or the car stopped at the lights that just turned red, could be guilty of gross negligence.
Here are some other worrying facts regarding distracted driving:
- In 2009, a shocking total of 5,474 drivers were killed in this country in accidents where the driver was proven to be distracted. Almost half a million (448,000) were injured.
- In the same year, 16% of all fatal accidents and 20% of all road accidents causing injury were attributed to distracted drivers.
- In June, 2011, alone, a total of 196 billion text messages were sent in the U.S., a 50% increase in just two years.
- Sending or reading each text message takes the driver’s eyes off the road for an average of 4.6 seconds. At 55 mph, that’s the equivalent of driving a distance longer than a football field while completely blind.
- No fewer than 40% of teens say they have been in the car when the person behind the wheel has sent or received a text message.
- Driving while using a cell phone in any way decreases the amount of brain activity associated with safe driving by 37%.
- Using a cell phone while driving delays a driver’s reaction times by the exact same amount as having a blood alcohol level right at the legal limit of .08%
The message is simple. Texting while driving is a distraction, and people who drive while distracted are far more likely to be hurt or killed in traffic accidents than those who are paying constant attention to what’s going on around them. A Portland injury lawyer will all too frequently be called on to represent clients whose lives have been changed forever because of the actions of another road user who was distracted while driving. These people suffer enormous pain, often for years on end, and their families are horribly affected, both emotionally and financially.
By joining the TXT L8R campaign, you can help make Oregon roads safer by committing to send or receive text messages only after you’ve reached your destination and never while behind the wheel. Sadly, not everyone will take part in this initiative, and people will continue to be hurt and killed by distracted drivers. If you or a member of your family has been injured through the negligence of another road user, we strongly advise you to contact a reliable and experienced Portland injury lawyer as soon as possible. They will see to it that the distracted driver who injured you is held fully accountable for their actions, and that you receive the compensation you need and deserve.