Although driving is a routine activity, it can also be hazardous. Motor vehicle accidents can lead to injuries, trauma and even fatalities.
Distracted driving can contribute to car accidents. Understanding the risks of distracted driving can help motorists stay safe on the road.
Dangers of distracted driving
According to the Centers for Disease Control, driving while distracted makes collisions more likely. Around 3000 fatal car crashes involving distracted drivers happen each year. Distracted driving can also cause harm to cyclists and pedestrians.
There are many different distractions that drivers may encounter. Visual distractions cause drivers to look away from the road. There are also cognitive distractions which diminish mental focus, and manual distractions, which make it harder to steer and operate a car. Using a mobile device, such as a cell phone, involves all three types of distraction. Eating, changing music and talking with passengers can also distract drivers.
Oregon’s distracted driving laws
The state of Oregon has laws that limit mobile device use for drivers. For example, Oregon prohibits drivers from reading and writing e-mails and text messages on mobile devices. It is also illegal to talk on a cell phone while driving unless using a hands-free device, such as a wireless headset. In addition, people under 18 cannot use any mobile devices while driving in Oregon. Law enforcement officers in Oregon pull someone over if they witness illegal mobile device use while driving.
Distracted driving can make car crashes more likely, which may result in injuries and deaths. Following the law can help drivers avoid distractions caused by mobile devices.