Distracted Driving Cellphone
It’s not just your imagination, Oregon roads are busier than ever, and there’s no sign of the masses abandoning their cars anytime soon. Millions of drivers navigate our freeways, highways, and city streets safely; however, there are many who drive erratically, speed, text, eat, or even apply makeup while driving or while stopped at a red light. Auto accident attorney Paul Galm has some key facts about distracted driving and helpful information about possible compensation if you’re the unfortunate victim of one such driver.

What Is Distracted Driving?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that there are three types of distraction: visual (taking your eyes off the road), manual (taking your hands off the wheel), and cognitive (taking your mind off your driving). Activities such as texting, making a phone call, eating and drinking, grooming, reading, talking to passengers, using a GPS/navigation system, adjusting car controls, and singing along/dancing to/adjusting the music are all considered distracted driving. Oregonians who have been involved in car accidents due to their own careless driving should know that their actions could be considered gross negligence, which can sometimes lead to criminal charges.

How Common Are Distracted Driving Accidents?

The CDC concluded that distracted driving is the number one cause of car accidents in the United States, and it contributes to more than nine deaths daily. Teenaged drivers had the largest proportion of distracted driver crashes. In fact, Distraction.gov, a government website created to combat distracted driving incidents, reported that 10 percent of all 15-19 year olds involved in fatal crashes were classified as distracted drivers at the time of the crash.

What Are My Legal Options?

In Oregon, there are three types of damages you can recover from the responsible driver: economic, non-economic, and punitive. Economic damages include medical bills, lost wages, out-of-pocket damages, and damages to your vehicle. Non-economic damages include pain and suffering caused by the accident. Punitive damages are available only in an injury lawsuit where the at-fault driver was driving recklessly at the time of the accident. If you have been the victim of a distracted driver, your Portland car accident attorney can help you get full compensation for injuries, property damage, and lost wages. They can also determine whether or not you qualify to seek punitive damages.