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How Safe are the Roads in Oregon?

How safe are the roads in Oregon? The Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety wanted to find out. In fact, the Advocates wanted to assess how safe the roads were in all 50 states in the U.S. Each year, the Advocates do this by conducting a review of where states stand on passing safety laws. 

The Advocates’ 10th annual state-by-state review of safety laws has now been released, and our Portland, OR accident attorneys have reviewed their 2013 Roadmap of State Highway Safety Laws to see how Oregon is doing as far as passing laws that make the roads safer. Fortunately, Oregon is a “Green” state, which means that the state is just one of 14 in the U.S. that has shown “significant advancement” toward passing all of the safety laws that are recommended by the Advocates.

What Safety Standards Has Oregon Passed & Which Ones are Missing?

The Advocates did more than just give each state a rating. They actually outlined the 15 laws that they recommend, and they provided details on whether each state got credit for having such a law. According to the Advocates’ data on Oregon:

  • Credit was given for a primary seat belt law.
  • Credit was given for an all-rider helmet law for motorcyclists.
  • Credit was given for a booster seat law.
  • Credit was given for Oregon’s 6-month holding period for teens who obtain their permits.
  • Credit was given for Oregon’s requirement imposing 30-50 hours of supervised driving practice for teens.
  • Credit was given for Oregon’s laws restricting the number of passengers that may ride in vehicles with teenage drivers.
  • Credit was given for imposing a restriction on the use of cellular telephones for teenager drivers.
  • Credit was given for mandating that all DUI offenders have an ignition interlock device installed in their vehicle to test their BAC before their cars will start.
  • Credit was given for child endangerment laws, which impose harsher penalties on intoxicated drivers who have children in their vehicle.
  • Credit was given for a mandatory BAC test law. Such a law indicates that drivers in Oregon are assumed to give implied consent to having a blood alcohol test performed if there is reasonable suspicion that a driver is impaired.
  • Credit was given for Oregon’s open container law.
  • Credit was given because there is a statewide ban on texting while driving for all drivers.
  • No credit was given because Oregon lacks a law imposing a minimum age of 16 for obtaining a learner’s permit.
  • No credit was given on the issue of requiring a driver to be 18 before obtaining a full license. Oregon is lacking such a law.
  • No credit was given for Oregon’s night time restriction law. Although a law exists, it is not sufficient for the Advocates to count it.

Oregon received credit for twelve of the fifteen driver-safety laws that the Advocates recommended states pass. Based on safety laws alone, therefore, it seems like Oregon lawmakers have done a lot to make the streets of Oregon as safe as they can be for drivers. While there is some room for improvement, these laws likely prevent many accidents from occurring and save many lives as a result.

If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident in the Portland area, contact  Zbinden & Curtis. Call (503) 287-5000.

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