Study: Teen Drivers More Likely To Be In Deadly Crash

A new study released this week showed that new teen drivers were three times more likely than adults to be involved in a fatal crash.

The study, released by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety compared drivers aged 16 to 17 years old to those 18 years old and older.

In addition, the study found that crashes involving teenagers had increased 10 percent and could continue to rise.

The report was released at the beginning of what is referred to as the “100 deadliest days,” the months between Memorial Day and Labor Day when the average number of deadly crashes involving teen drivers climb 15 percent.

Researchers at AAA found that although many factors contribute to the rise in deadly crashes, three play the biggest factor: distraction, lack of seatbelt use and speeding.

Distraction played a factor in nearly 6 of 10 teen crashes. Although this is often distraction from cell phones, other causes of distraction like friends in the vehicle, eating and doing makeup also play a role.

Teen drivers and their riders were less likely to wear a seat belt. In 2015, 60 percent of teen drivers killed in a crash were not wearing any seatbelt.

Speeding played a role in nearly 30 percent of fatal crashes involving teen drivers.

If you or a loved one has suffered serious injuries in any motor vehicle accident, it is crucial to speak with an experienced Portland personal injury attorney. Call today for your free, initial consultation.

Decrease Chance Of Leaving Road Debris Behind

Accidents caused by road debris are on the rise, according to a recent study released by the AAA Foundation. Many of these accidents are entirely preventable, but it is up to the driver to properly secure their load before departing on their trip.

As a driver, you can take steps to decrease your chances of causing an accident by road debris.

First of all, maintain your vehicle. Your vehicle should be regularly checked by trained mechanics. Tires that are badly worn, underinflated or overinflated can suffer blowouts, leaving pieces of tire across the roads. Of course, it can be difficult to regain control of your vehicle during a blowout as well, which increases your chance at an accident.

Secondly, Parts of your exhaust systems and hardware attached to your vehicle can rust and corrode. Parts of mufflers and other parts can drag on the pavement and possibly break free. These problems can be avoided with the help of trained mechanics and regular inspections. Make sure you address any issues that arise before they cause problems.

Lastly, whenever moving or towing furniture, all items must be properly secured. To properly secure a load, make sure all items are properly tied down with rope, netting or straps. Large objects should be tied directly to a vehicle or trailer. Make sure to cover the entire load with a sturdy tarp or netting and try not to overload the vehicle. Before departing, make sure to double-check the items to make sure they are secure.

In Oregon, being responsible for debris that falls onto a roadway could cost you in fines. It is your responsibility to make sure what you are towing is secure.

If you or a loved one has been injured by roadway debris, you may want to consider filing for damages. Call our office today for your free consultation.

Report Finds Drug-Impaired Driving Surpassed Alcohol-Impaired Driving In Deadly Accidents

A new report released this week found deaths caused by driving while under the influence of drugs surpassed those deaths caused by driving while under the influence of alcohol in 2015.

The report entitled “Drug-Impaired Driving” found that positive drug tests were more common than the presence of alcohol in fatally injured drivers. According to the report, 43 percent of those motorist who died had drugs in their systems while only 37 percent of those who died tested positive for alcohol.

Unfortunately, drug impairment can be difficult to measure because not all drugs affect all drivers in the same way. According to the report, hundreds of drugs can impair drivers and while some drugs that impair drivers are illegal, many are legal to use, at least under certain situations and are often available over-the-counter at many stores.

Out of those drivers tested in crashes, 35.6 percent tested positive for marijuana, 9.3 percent were positive for amphetamine, 7.4 percent were positive for a drug not on the FARS list and 55.1 percent tested positive for another drug.

Oftentimes, drugs have an undetermined effect on someone’s driving. The effect varies from person to person and are very complex. Due to complex nature of determining if drugs affected a driver detrimentally, it can be quite difficult to prosecute and convict a driver driving under the influence of drugs.

If you or a loved one have suffered serious injuries in an accident involving a driver under the influence, it is crucial to work with experienced and tenacious Portland personal injury attorneys who can go to bat for you. Call now and set up your free consultation to find out how your Portland accident attorneys can fight for you.

View the full report here. 

 

Pedestrian Fatalities Continue To Rise In Traffic Accidents

Source: GHSA

A new report released by the Governors Highway Safety Association found pedestrian fatalities have continued to rise in the past several years. and now account for the largest proportion of traffic fatalities recorded in the past 25 years. The increased use of smart phones by pedestrians and drivers along with other factors in distracted driving are possible culprits.

Researchers found the number of pedestrian fatalities have increased 25 percent from 2010 to 2015, while total traffic deaths have increased about six months. They looked at the first six months of 2016 and found a seven percent increase in pedestrian fatalities compared with 2015. After adjusting for underreporting in the preliminary data, researchers estimate the figure is actually closer to 11 percent increase. If that holds true, it would be the single largest increase in the 40 years that national records have been kept.

According to the data, approximately 6,000 pedestrian fatalities occurred in 2016, which would make 2016 the first year in more than 20 years with more than 6,000 pedestrian deaths.

Data also showed that not all states had similar rates of pedestrian deaths. For example, Wyoming had one death in the first six months, while California had the most at 359 deaths. Additionally, only California, Florida, Georgia, Texas and New York combined accounted for 42 percent of all pedestrian deaths in that period.

Researches cited many possible factors as contributors to the rise in pedestrian fatalities. The rapidly growing use of smart phones to access wireless data while both walking and driving was noted as a newer factor contributing to more deaths. According to the Federal Highway Administration motor vehicle travel increased 3.3 percent in the first half of 2016 compared with the first half of 2015.

If you or your loved one has suffered serious injuries or you have lost a loved one in a fatal pedestrian accident, it is imperative to retain the most knowledgeable and experienced Portland personal injury attorneys available. Call our office today for your free, initial consultation.

Study: Road Debris Accidents Double

Road debris contributes to more than 200,000 crashes and 500 deaths every year in the United States, according to a report released by the AAA Foundation.

According to the report released in the fall, nearly 39,000 people were injured in crashes from 2011 through 2014. More than one-third of those deaths resulted from a driver swerving to avoid hitting debris, researchers found.

In some cases, cars struck debris, causing chain-reaction collisions. The worst part is that accidents from debris is not only quite dangerous, but generally preventable. According to researchers, the problem has increased dramatically over the past decade. A 2001 study found 25,000 crashes and less than 100 deaths were attributed to debris, while the study just released found that debris-related crashes have nearly doubled. Nearly 10,000 injuries and 125 deaths were reported yearly from debris-related incidents.

Researchers found the majority of the incidents occurred between 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and neither bad weather nor darkness seemed to increase the accidents.

A driver could face fines should something fall off their vehicle onto a roadway and cause an accident. In Oregon, drivers may face a Class B traffic violation, which includes a $260 fine. Owner and driver in violation are jointly and severally liable to the state, county or city for all damage done as a result of the violation.

“Drivers have a much bigger responsibility when it comes to preventing debris on the roads than most realize,” said Jennifer Ryan, director of state relations for AAA. “It’s important for drivers to know that many states have hefty fines and penalties for drivers who drop items from their vehicle onto the roadway, and in some cases states impose jail time.”

If you or a loved one has been injured as a result of debris in the roadway, it is crucial to speak with an experienced Oregon personal injury attorney today. Call for your free, initial consultation.

Dangerous Driving Habits Among Young Millennials

While traffic deaths rose more than seven percent in 2015, the biggest single-year rise in more than 50 years, many are studying the information and trying to determine why. Some of the answers may be found in dangerous driving habits of young drivers while behind the wheel.

A recent report released from the AAA foundation for Traffic Safety found the overwhelming majority of millennials engaged in at least one risky behavior while driving in the past month. The report, highlighting dangerous driving habits, ranked young millennials as the worst-behaved drivers in the United States.

Final statistics showed traffic deaths increased to 35,092 in 2015, which represents an increase of seven percent in one year. In the study, those aged 19-24 were considered the most dangerous age group. The study found that 88 percent of young millennials engaged in texting, red-light running, speeding while they were behind the wheel. Those drivers were 1.6 times as likely as all drivers to report having read a text message or email while driving in the past 30 days.

They were followed by those age 25-39 with 79.2 percent reporting engaging in risky driving behavior and 75.2 percent of those age 40-59  engaged in such behaviors. The study found that even 67.3 percent of drivers age 60-74 reported in engaging in risky and dangerous behaviors while behind the wheel.

Notably, drivers ages 16-18 were some of the safest drivers behind the wheel, second only to those ages 60 and older.

The information was compiled in the annual Traffic Safety Culture Index and sampled 2,511 licensed drivers ages 16 or older who reported driving in the past 30 days. The report has been released since 2008.

If you or a loved one has been seriously injured in a distracted driving accident, it is crucial to speak with an experienced Portland personal injury attorney. We can fight to get you the compensation you need. Call our offices today.

Study: Highway Safety Laws Should Be Updated

An annual report just released shows many states lag in several crucial laws which would significantly increase the safety of the highways.

The Advocates For Highway & Auto Safety’s 2017 Roadmap of State Highway Safety Laws states that data from the U.S. Department of Transportation show a second year of “alarming” increases in traffic fatalities. In addition, safety measures that may help provide remedies to some of the more serious issues, preventing lives and injuries, are not being mandated across the country.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in 2015, 35,092 people were killed in motor vehicle accidents, representing the largest increase in 50 years and preliminary reports for 2016 show that number climbing even higher. The 2015 data showed increases in nearly every type of crash including unbelted vehicle occupants and impaired and distracted drivers.

The organization called for all states to work on implementing lacking highway safety laws that would increase the safety of all on the roads.

While Oregon was listed as one of the top states in terms of highway safety, the state only has nine of the 16 recommended measures in place to make driving on the highways safer for all. The estimated annual economic cost due to motor vehicle accidents in 2015 in Oregon was $1,768 billion.

Primarily, the study pointed out the state still needs to push for more restrictions and supervision with a graduated driver’s license including turning age 16 before obtaining a learning’s permit.  The group suggests Oregon also should increase booster seat law to include all children up to 8 years old and 57 inches tall.

If you or your loved one was seriously injured in any type of motor vehicle accident, it is imperative to speak with your experienced Portland auto accident attorneys. Call today for your free, initial consultation.

Study: Ignition Interlock Devices Cut Drunk Driving Accidents

A study released by Johns Hopkins University showed a seven percent decreased in fatal drunk driving accidents in states mandating all DUII offenders have an ignition interlock installed.

Researchers from John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and the Colorado School of Public Health found that equaled approximately 1,250 less deadly accidents since those laws first were implemented in 1993.

Ignition interlock device or a breath alcohol ignition interlock device is a breathalyzer for a person’s vehicle. It requires a driver to blow into a mouthpiece on the device before starting the vehicle’s engine.

Currently, all 50 states have some type of law regarding ignition interlocks and as of last March, 26 states had mandatory laws requiring all convicted of a DUII offense to use an interlock in order to drive legally.

Researches examined federal data studying the effects of interlock laws on trends in alcohol-involved fatal crashes from 1982 through 2013. According to researchers, since 2005 more than 20 states have adopted interlock laws for all drunk driving offenses.

In Oregon, as of January 2016 interlock devices are required for all DUII convictions beginning from the ending date of suspension with a minimum of one year for the first conviction, two years for the second and five for the third or subsequent convictions.

Interlock devices may be required for those in DUII Diversion as well, including those who refused a breath or blood alcohol content test, anyone who had a BAC and there was alcohol present.­ Usually required for at least the time of the diversion program. A person may petition the court to vacate the IID requirement after six months even if still in the diversion program.

If you or a loved one has suffered serious injuries at the hands of a drunk driver, it is imperative to speak with an experienced Oregon drunk driver accident attorney. Our team will fight to get you the compensation you deserve!

Drowsy Drivers May Be As Dangerous As Drunk Drivers

A recent report released by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety found that drowsy drivers, those drivers sleeping only five to six hours in a 24-hour period, are twice as likely to crash than drivers who slept seven hours or more.

The study released this week found that many of the risks drivers face when driving drunk were also present the less sleep a driver received.

Consequently, the less sleep a driver gets before getting behind the wheel, the higher his or her risk of crashing. Drivers who only got four or five hours of sleep were four times as likely to crash. That is very similar to the increase of crash risk when someone is driving under the influence.

According to the CDC, 32,000 people die yearly and two million are injured from motor vehicle crashes. The CDC has also found that thirty-five present of drivers in the U.S. sleep less than the recommended seven hours daily.

The report added that more than one in five fatal crashes involved drowsy drivers.

This information comes at a time many will hit the roads to visit family and friends over the holidays. Many who do so are often overtired from the busyness of the holidays. AAA offers some tips for a safer trip.

  • Travel when normally awake.
  • Schedule a break every two hours or every one hundred miles.
  • Avoid heavy foods because they can increase drowsiness.
  • Travel with an alert passenger and take turns driving.
  • Avoid medications that cause drowsiness or other impairment.

If you have been injured in a serious accident, it is important to speak with an experienced personal injury attorney. Call today for your free, initial consultation.

Oregon Traffic Deaths up 20 Percent

2015 has been a much deadlier year on the road than 2014. In fact, it’s shaping up to be the deadliest year since 2008. More than 400 people have been killed on roads and highways in this state in 2014, making a sharp increase over 2014. And if previous trends hold, one of the most deadliest driving seasons, Christmas season, is just beginning. As a Portland car accident lawyer, we urge everyone to stay safe behind the wheel.
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