A major non-profit organization, the National Safety Council, has proclaimed April to be Distracted Driving Awareness Month. The organization is encouraging a variety of individuals and businesses who use this country’s transportation system to do their part to cut down on texting while driving, inappropriate and unsafe cell phone usage behind the wheel, and other distractions that can easily lead to traffic accidents.
As part of Distracted Driving Awareness Month, the organization has also started a related “Just Drive” public awareness campaign. The organization hopes that the campaign will help reverse the recent trend in the number of fatal accidents across the country.
Compared with 2015’s statistics, the number of traffic fatalities last year, over 40,000 across the country, increased by 6 percent. Many attribute these concerning numbers to distracted driving which, despite the enactment of laws and stepped up enforcement, continues to be a problem on the roads in Oregon and elsewhere.
Although all distracted driving is dangerous, this month is a good time to remember in particular the danger a distracted driver can pose to the many walkers, runners and bikers that frequent the roads and sidewalks of Portland, Oregon.
While one would think motorists in this area are particularly attuned to pedestrians, such is sadly not always the case. Many drivers simply cannot resist sending that one text or making that one phone call, either of which can take the driver’s eyes off the road just long enough to hit an unsuspecting pedestrian trying to cross the street. Often, the end result of this type of accident is that the pedestrian suffers serious injuries, assuming he or she survives at all.
Auto-pedestrian accidents caused by a distracted driver are preventable. All a driver need do is pay attention to the road and, for that matter, follow the law when it comes to using one’s cell phone behind the wheel. If a Portland driver does not take these simple steps, and thereby causes a pedestrian accident, then he or she can be held legally accountable to pay compensation to the victim.