Especially in light of our previous post on this blog about Oregonians and their ongoing love affair with using their electronic devices, even while driving, a Portlander might think that texting and driving or talking on one’s cell phone is the most common cause of fatal distracted driving accidents.
However, at least according to one recent report, such is far from the case. Indeed, while cell phone use is the second leading cause of fatal distracted driving accidents, contributing to 14 percent of them, the most common cause of these sorts of accidents is simply “daydreaming,” which can include simply letting one’s mind go on “automatic” rather than staying focused on the road. Deadly accidents related to daydreaming account for 61 percent of all distracted driving accidents that end with a fatality.
This is not to say that the efforts Oregon lawmakers and others have made to curb texting and driving are not both valuable and appreciated. However, the results of the report suggest that attentive, and safe, driving takes a lot more than just putting the phone down.
An Oregon driver must keep his or her eyes and mind on the road at all times, especially when traveling in an area where there are lots of intersections and crosswalks. Not doing so can lead to an auto-pedestrian accident or other serious car crash that is likely to leave victims seriously hurt or even permanently disabled, assuming of course the victim survives at all.
No matter the reason for the distraction, an Oregon driver who causes a fatality, or a serious injury, because he or she was not paying attention can and should be held financially accountable for the losses they cause.