Motor vehicle accidents cause more than 1.2 million deaths worldwide and tens of millions of non-fatal injuries every year, negatively affecting the health and well-being of survivors and their loved ones. Understanding the most common causes of car accidents in Oregon can help prevent severe injuries and help a victim injured in a car accident secure compensation from a negligent driver. Those who have suffered injuries or lost a loved one to a car accident should consult with an experienced Oregon personal injury attorney to learn about their rights and remedies. Contact the attorneys at D’Amore Law Group today.
What Are the Most Common Causes of Car Accidents in Oregon?
The Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) reports that Oregon experienced a dramatic increase in car accident fatalities over the past ten years. In the last reporting year, there were 460 crashes with fatalities and 19,343 with non-fatal injuries. These accidents involved 475 bicyclists, 741 pedestrians, 786 motorcycles, 67 school buses, and 1,889 medium or heavy trucks. Drivers aged 15-20 were involved in nearly 3,500 crashes. These accidents caused the deaths of 507 people and seriously injured approximately 28,000 individuals.
What Kind of Driver Errors Cause Oregon Car Accidents?
The causes of motor vehicle crashes are complex, but driver errors often cause or contribute to an accident. Inexperience and risk-taking behaviors are common causes of crashes involving young drivers. Car crash investigations show that excessive speed, reckless driving, traffic violations, and drug and alcohol use often contribute to accidents involving young people. ODOT groups driver errors into several categories, including:
- Basic rule errors—these errors include driving too fast for the road conditions, exceeding posted speed limits, and racing;
- Disregarding signs and signals—this category includes failure to avoid a stopped vehicle and failure to stop at a flashing red traffic signal;
- Improper maneuvers—these include errors such as improper lane changes;
- Passing errors—these occur when a driver passes other drivers at an intersection or in a no-pass zone;
- Right-of-way errors—this occurs when the passing vehicle does not have the right-of-way;
- Turning maneuvers—this category includes making a left turn into oncoming traffic; and
- Miscellaneous errors—this category includes several types of errors, such as failure to maintain a lane, inattention, distracted driving, reckless driving, and driving the wrong way on a one-way street.
Specifically, ODOT has also ranked the top ten driver errors that cause accidents. The leading causes of car accidents in Oregon include the following:
- Failing to avoid stopped or parked vehicles;
- Failing to yield the right-of-way;
- Running off the road;
- Driving too fast for the road conditions, including exceeding the posted speed;
- Driving while distracted;
- Failing to maintain a lane;
- Turning left in front of oncoming traffic;
- Disregarding traffic signals;
- Following other vehicles too closely; and
- Failing to successfully negotiate a curve.
Any of these actions can result in serious single-vehicle, multi-vehicle, or chain-reaction accidents.
Pedestrian Errors that Cause Oregon Motor Vehicle Crashes
Pedestrian errors can also cause traffic collisions. ODOT reports the top pedestrian errors that cause motor vehicle crashes include:
- Crossing between intersections;
- Failing to yield the right-of-way; and
Because there is no legal requirement for bicyclists and pedestrians to report when they are involved in a car accident, statisticians must use circumstantial data to categorize their accidents. With about 8% of trips in Oregon being made on foot, it is important for pedestrians to remember they must also take care to avoid causing traffic accidents.
Top Bicyclist Errors that Cause Oregon Collisions
One in twenty Oregon households meets a daily travel need by biking. Despite the high number of daily bicycle trips, Oregon roadways and highways often lack bike lanes. As a result, these vulnerable road users are often involved in car accidents.
The leading causes of car crashes involving bicyclists include:
- Failure to yield the right-of-way,
- Disregarded traffic signals, and
Bicycle accidents, especially those involving a large vehicle, often result in severe injuries and damages. An Oregon car accident attorney can help a bicyclist who was injured in a traffic accident determine the best way to obtain compensation for their losses.
Other Factors that Contribute to Oregon Car Crashes
Many Oregon car accidents are caused by several factors. Some factors that may contribute to an Oregon car accident include auto defects, road hazards, and poor weather. Moreover, the severity of an accident or its aftermath may depend on whether one of the drivers was impaired by drugs or alcohol, the number of traffic law enforcement officers available to respond to the collision, and the response times of emergency medical personnel.
Determining the Cause of an Oregon Car Crash
Investigating the cause of a car crash is a critical component in determining who was at fault. Unfortunately, most car accidents are preventable, and most collisions result from driver error. In these cases, the victim or their loved one can seek compensation from the at-fault party. The at-fault party is typically responsible for covering the victim’s medical expenses, repairing or replacing the victim’s vehicle, and other related damages. In some Oregon motor vehicle accident cases, it may be possible for more than one party to be at fault, such as:
- Auto manufacturers,
- Government entities in charge of the roadways,
- Repair facilities, and
- Employers that hire negligent drivers.
The victim must prove the at-fault party owed a duty of care to the victim, that they breached this duty, that the breach caused the victim’s injuries, and that the victim suffered losses they can be compensated for.
An attorney can help a car accident victim gather relevant evidence and prepare a compelling case for compensation after an accident. Some common forms of proof used in car accident cases include:
- Photographs of the accident scene,
- Photographs of injuries,
- Medical records,
- Video footage,
- Forensic analysis,
- Eyewitness testimony, and
- Expert testimony.
Oregon follows the modified comparative negligence theory, which allows a victim to collect damages as long as their responsibility for the accident does not exceed 51% of the total fault. However, a victim’s damages will be proportionally reduced to reflect their share of fault. That’s why establishing fault in Oregon is important when someone is seeking to recover maximum compensation.
Contact the Oregon Car Accident Attorneys at the D’Amore Law Group to Discuss Your Case Today
If you or a loved one was recently injured in a car accident, reach out to the dedicated personal injury attorneys at the D’Amore Law Group to discuss your legal options. Our team of Oregon personal injury lawyers has more than 25 years of experience helping accident victims obtain fair compensation for what they’ve been through. We provide compassionate yet aggressive advocacy at every step of the process, ensuring your case receives the attention it deserves. Contact us today by phone or online to schedule a free consultation with one of our lawyers.