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The Consequences Of Texting While Driving

Texting while driving is a serious problem today. Our phones keep us connected, but they’re a huge distraction on the road. Traffic signs can be missed, and you might not be able to slow down fast enough in an emergency. Additionally, drivers have been noticed drifting into other lanes because their focus is divided.

At Zbinden & Curtis Attorneys At Law in Portland, OR, we understand the dangers of texting while driving all too well. We’ve seen firsthand the harm it can cause drivers, pedestrians, and everyone else on the road. This article will talk about the dangers, legal issues, and emotional effects of texting while driving.

If you have been in an auto accident where phone use was a cause, call our office today.

Understanding the Risks of Texting While Driving

Texting while driving is a form of distracted driving that poses severe risks to everyone involved. When a driver’s attention is diverted from the road to their phone, their reaction time is significantly delayed. This delay, even if it’s just a few seconds, can be the difference between a safe ride and a terrible accident.

Studies have shown that texting drivers are 23 times more likely to be involved in a car crash. The act of reading or sending a text message takes the driver’s eyes off the road for an average of 5 seconds. At high speeds, this is equivalent to driving the length of a football field with your eyes closed. The risk is not only to the driver but also to passengers, other drivers, and pedestrians.

Legal and Financial Repercussions

From a legal perspective, the consequences of texting while driving can be severe. Many states have laws that specifically ban texting while driving, and breaking these laws can lead to hefty fines, points on your driver’s license, and even jail time.

If an accident occurs due to texting while driving, the legal ramifications can be even more severe than if the accident was caused by other means. As personal injury lawyers, we’ve seen cases where drivers face not only criminal charges but also civil lawsuits for damages that they caused. These damages can include medical expenses, lost wages, and compensation for pain and suffering to the victims of their actions. The financial burden of these consequences can be overwhelming for some, often involving thousands of dollars in fines.

The Impact on Insurance

Texting while driving affects your car insurance premiums as well. Insurance companies view texting while driving as a high-risk behavior, which can lead to increased insurance costs. If an accident is caused by texting, the driver may face a double financial blow of paying for the damages out of pocket and receiving a hike in insurance premiums.

Emotional and Social Consequences

The impact of texting while driving isn’t limited to laws and finance. There are significant emotional and social consequences as well. Being responsible for an accident, especially one that causes injury or death, can lead to severe emotional distress, guilt, and trauma. This emotional toll not only affects the driver but also their family and loved ones. Vehicles are not just transportation devices; they are huge, heavy, mechanical objects that operate at intense speeds. That’s why Oregon licenses drivers to operate them. If you are not ready for the emotional turmoil that an accident may cause you and others, do not pick up the phone while driving.

Moreover, there is a growing social stigma attached to texting while driving. People are becoming aware of its devastating consequences and are punishing violators in social ways. People who text while driving may be harshly reminded by their passengers why these safety laws are important, and people who cause accidents this way are often viewed negatively by peers, which leads to social isolation and criticism.

Oregon Preventive Measures

In Oregon, there are strong steps taken to stop texting while driving. The law makes it illegal to use your phone while driving. If you’re caught by law enforcement, you can receive a hefty fine, and the fine gets bigger each time you’re caught. For cases involving an accident, the punishment can be more severe. This could include larger fines, a higher chance of losing your driver’s license, or even criminal charges, especially if the accident results in injuries or fatalities. The law takes these situations very seriously because the driver’s texting has directly harmed others.

The state also works hard to teach people, especially young drivers, why texting and driving is dangerous. We use ads and victim testimony to show how serious it can be. Plus, Oregon encourages drivers to use apps that stop them from getting texts when they’re driving. Some insurance companies even give you perks for using them.

Resisting the Temptation to Text and Drive

Resisting the urge to text while driving is important for everyone’s safety. There are some simple but effective ways to help you stay focused on the road:

  • Turn Off Notifications: Before you start driving, switch off your phone’s notifications. This stops the constant pings that might tempt you to look at your phone.
  • Use the Hands-Free Option: If you must use your phone, choose the hands-free features. Many cars now have systems that let you make calls or send texts using voice commands.
  • Automatic Replies: Set up an automatic reply on your phone to let people know you’re driving and will respond later. This lets others know why you’re not immediately answering, and can stop the feeling of needing to get back to them quickly.
  • Plan Breaks: On longer trips, plan breaks to check your phone. Pull over safely, respond to messages, and then continue your journey. It’s a good time to stretch your legs anyway.

Zbinden & Curtis Attorneys At Law

At Zbinden & Curtis Attorneys At Law, we are committed to providing legal assistance to those affected by texting while driving accidents. If you or someone you know has been impacted by a texting while driving incident, our experienced team is here to help. With our experience in the legal system and our compassionate approach to each client, we provide the support and guidance you need during challenging times.

To learn more about how we can assist you or to discuss your auto accident case, call us at (503) 287-5000. Together, we can work towards making our roads safer and holding people who endanger others by texting and driving accountable.

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