Legislation Being Considered To Use Textalyzer After Crash

Legislation being considered in New York would give authorities the ability to check a driver’s phone for signs of distraction following any accident and impose fines to those who refuse using what some refer to as a textalyzer.

A bill being considered would authorize the use of a textalyzer device that could analyze a driver’s phone after any accident.

Law enforcement would be allowed to analyze anyone’s phone who had been in any accident. Anyone who refused would face fines like facing fines for refusing a breathalyzer. The idea is an officer could generate a report analyzing if the driver was using their phone at all around the time of the accident and if they were, whether they were using their device hands on, or hands free.

The proposed law would be known as Evan’s law, named for a 19-year-old killed in a car accident that was later found to be because of distracted driving. The driver of the car he had been riding in was texting and driving, but it was months before that was known. Police could check his phone at the time because they needed a warrant to do so.

Officials across the country have been considering measures to cut down on the number of distracted driving accidents and fatalities.

Some privacy advocates have voiced concern over such a law. Many cite the fact that most phones contain a wealth of private and personal information and handing it over would give access to all that our phone contains.

If you were seriously injured in a distracted driving accident, it is crucial to speak with our experienced distracted driving attorneys. 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. 

 

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.

After A Truck Accident

If you or a loved one has been injured or killed in a truck accident, there may be differences in both what compensation you can recover and what laws apply. Although some laws of negligence apply that would are relevant to any vehicle accident, there are additional ones that apply only to commercial truck drivers and trucking companies as well as special licensing and training requirements of truck drivers. This can make truck accidents more difficult to defend and easier for a plaintiff to win in their favor.

Anyone who has been seriously injured or lost a loved one in an accident with a truck can sue as long as someone else is at fault for the accident. This includes adults as well as children who can sue through a parent or guardian.

Since Oregon is a modified comparative negligence state and an injured person can sue for their injuries as long as their percentage of fault is not greater than 51 percent.

In a truck accident, even more than a typical accident, it is crucial to conduct a thorough investigation. Since most trucks are commercially-owned, the trucking company will conduct their own investigation immediately after the accident, which puts you at a disadvantage if you do not investigate on your own behalf.

Most cases against relating to a truck accident must be brought within two years of the accident and in wrongful death cases there is a three-year statute of limitation. The specific compensation you can seek depends entirely on your individual case. It is important a qualified attorney reviews the facts of the cases and seeks out the information to best support your case.

These types of cases can be quite complex and require the expertise of a seasoned Oregon personal injury attorney. Call our office today for your free initial consultation.

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.

Trucker’s Poor Health May Increase Crash Risk

Truck drivers who have three of more medical conditions have a crash risk of twice to four times that of healthier drivers, according to a newly released study published in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine.

Investigators at the University of Utah School of Medicine found that commercial drivers’ health could be a risk not only to themselves, but to all the drivers around them.

Keeping and staying healthy is often challenging for the drivers who usually spend long hours on the road, with little nutritious food available and few opportunities for exercise. Additionally, most have poor sleeping conditions, which may may it a challenge to stay healthy.

“What these data are telling us is that with decreasing health comes increased crash risk, including crashes that truck drivers could prevent,” the study’s lead author Matthew Thiese, Ph.D., said.

Researchers matched drivers’ medical and crash histories to analyze. They observed that drivers with at least three of the noted conditions were most likely to have been involved in a crash. Eighty-two drivers were in the highest risk group. Researchers calculated risks from million of data points of relative risk each day up to seven years per driver.

Researchers found the rate of crashes with injuries among all truck drivers was 29 per 100 million miles. That figure jumped to 93 per 100 million miles for drivers with three or more ailments. In 75 percent of injury accidents involving trucks, occupants of the other vehicle are injured.

Thiese pointed out that health conditions are often thought of in isolation So while a driver with a major health condition may be pulled off the road, the safety of the drivers with an accumulation of more minor conditions may not be considered an issue.

If you have suffered serious injuries in any type of truck accident, it is important to find someone who will fight on your behalf. Call our offices today for your free, initial consultation.

Proposed Legislation Would Bring Harsher Penalties For Distracted Driving

New legislation expected to be introduced as the legislative session in February would penalize distracted drivers similarly to drunk drivers.

The distracted driver bill proposes that drivers found using a mobile device while driving could face up to a year in prison. The bill differentiates distracted driving caused by using mobile devices from other types of distracted driving like eating, drinking and smoking.

Oregon Senate President Peter Courtney is leading the effort. According to Courtney, a distracted driver crash occurs every 2.5 hours and a person is injured in a distracted driving crash every three hours.

If the bill would become law, drivers who text, use social media or talk on the phone could face thousands of dollars in fines and even jail time.

A first time offense would carry a maximum of up to one year in prison, a $6,250 fine or both. A repeat offender would face stiffer fines. A second-time offender would face $1,500 and a third-time offender up to $2,000. A driver stopped three or more times in a 10-year period could face a felony, up to five years in prison and a $125,000 fine.

Between 2005 and 2012, drunk driving fatalities decreased by 28 percent, but distracted driving fatalities increased by the same amount.

The current law makes it illegal only to communicate using a mobile device while driving, but the bill could change that to include text messaging, talking, navigation, accessing the internet or reading emails.

In addition to the new measures, the proposed law would wipe out current exceptions for cell phone use while driving. It would only allow for use if calling for emergency medical assistance, operating an ambulance or emergency vehicle or using a hands-free accessory.

The proposal would modify Oregon’s existing cell phone law (ORS 811.507)

If you or a loved one has suffered serious personal injuries in a car accident, you may consider speaking with an experienced personal injury attorney. We can fight on your behalf and get you the compensation you deserve. Call our office for a 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!

What Should You Do At The Scene Of A Truck Accident

A truck accident can be truly terrifying.If you have been injured in a truck accident, it is crucial to know what steps to take so you can protect yourself. It is crucial to contact a Portland truck accident attorney who can guide you through the process of a claim and help you make sure you don’t miss any important steps.

Our experienced lawyers have dealt with many truck accident cases throughout the years and can best advise you on what course of action to take. First of all, like any accident, it is important to contact the police and assess the situation.

It is important to seek medical attention, should it be necessary. After that is addressed, make sure to document anything you can from the accident. If you are physically ok and can, write notes and take pictures.

When dealing with a truck accident, it is also important not to speak with anyone at the scene except the official law enforcement. It is not uncommon for a company to send their own investigators, along with attorneys and insurance adjusters to minimize the company’s liability in the accident.  Do not speak to anyone until you have an attorney who can represent your interests.

Anyone involved in a truck accident has up to 10 years from the date of the accident to file a truck accident lawsuit within the state. If an accident involves a minor, that child has up to one year after he or she turns 18. After five years past the accident no one may file a lawsuit regarding the child and his or her injuries suffered in the accident.

If you have suffered serious personal injuries in any type of accident involving a truck, it is imperative to speak with a Portland truck accidents lawyer who can fight on your behalf. Call us today for your free, initial consultation.