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.

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.

My Injury Case In A Modified Comparative Fault State

If you have been injured and have begun exploring a possible lawsuit, you may have heard people refer to Oregon as a modified comparative fault state, but you may not know what that means. In a nutshell, this means that in any injury case, the fault of the claimant is compared with the fault of any party against whom recovery is sought. In a modified comparative fault state, each party involved will be assigned a percentage of fault, but all percentages added together must equal 100 percent.

One benefit of this setup is that even if you had partial fault in the accident or incident that injured you, you may still be able to recover damages, as long as your fault does not exceed 51 percent. In Oregon, this system makes it easier for victims to secure monetary compensation when injured. In many states, they follow a system that may deny a victim any compensation if they are found even one percent liable for the injury.

Since such a suit does assign a percentage of fault to each party, the downside is that a victim may be responsible in a counter suit related to the injury. So for example, if someone is found 55 percent responsible for their injuries sustained in a traffic accident, they may open themselves up to a counter suit for the portion they are responsible.

It is crucial to speak with an experienced and focused Portland injury attorney who can advise you on the best course of action and guide you in the best direction for you. If you have been seriously injured in any accident, it is important to speak with a Portland injury attorney who can fight to get you compensation you deserve. 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!

Finding Closure with a Portland Wrongful Death Lawyer

Some people hesitate to contact a Portland wrongful death lawyer because they think it seems greedy. They don’t want to seem like they are out for “blood money” after a loved one has passed away. People should not feel this way about pursuing their legal rights. When a loved one dies unexpectedly, along with emotional issues, it creates very practical concerns. The loved one contributed money, wisdom, companionship, and more to a family, and now it is gone. Money will never fully replace the person, but it can with some of the practical issues this death created.
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Salmonella Poisoning Results in 28 Year Prison Sentence

A former peanut executive was sentenced to 28 years in prison for knowingly selling salmonella-tainted peanuts. The resulting outbreak made over 700 people sick and resulted in 9 deaths. This is one of the harshest sentences ever as a result of a food-borne illness. As a product liability attorney, this shows just how seriously food safety needs to be taken in order to ensure the safety of the public. This sentence sends a message loud and clear that such willful violations of the law will not be tolerated.
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