Distracted Driving Destroys Lives
Distracted driving is any activity that takes the driver’s eyes off the road, hands off the steering wheel, or your mind off your primary task of operating a vehicle safely. Distracted driving endangers not only the driver, but also any passengers, occupants of other vehicles, and bystanders.
Distracted driving can involve texting, using a phone, reading, eating or drinking, adjusting the radio, reading, watching a video, using a navigation system, putting on makeup, using a map, talking to passengers, or tending the needs of a child.
Distracted Driving Laws in Oregon and Washington
In Oregon, the use of any handheld mobile electronic device while using a vehicle is illegal. Only hands-free integrated devices can be used. A first offense is a Class B traffic violation. Any subsequent charge within the next 10 years, or if the first offense is a contributing factor to an auto accident, the penalty becomes a Class A traffic violation.
In Washington, the Driving Under the Influence of Electronics Act (DUIE) bans the use of any handheld electronic device while driving, even when at a stop sign. The first offense is a $136 fine and a second offense within five years increases to a $235 fine. Officers can also ticket for other activities that cause distracted driving, such as eating or reading.
If You Have Been In An Accident Caused By A Distracted Driver
If you have been in an accident that was caused by a distracted driver and you suffered injuries, you may be able to pursue a personal injury claim against the at-fault driver and recover compensation for your damages. A personal injury lawyer will review the details of your case and gather supporting evidence and documentation that shows the damages that you suffered because of the crash. Common damages include medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, property damages, mental anguish, and more.
Maintain thorough documentation, including medical bills, proof of missed work and lost wages, medical records, and a copy of the accident report. If a distracted driver caused an accident in the Portland/Vancouver metro area that left you with injuries, contact the Harlan Law Firm to get a free case evaluation.