Portland OR Car Accident Lawyer at Zbinden & Curtis Comments on Report about Distracted Driving Study

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Personal injury attorney Jon Zbinden of the law firm Zbinden & Curtis says he urges all drivers to avoid using cellphones, and he questions a finding in the new study that suggests there is no danger in talking on a cellphone while driving.

With so much previous evidence contradicting that part of the findings of this new study, we will continue to strongly encourage drivers to avoid all distractions, including talking on the phone.

Commenting on a report in Oregonlive.com about new texting and driving research, Portland, OR personal injury lawyer Jon Zbinden of Zbinden & Curtis today said he was not surprised to read that texting, dialing and even reaching for a cellphone can increase the chances of car accidents, especially among teenagers.

One finding, however, did come as a surprise to Zbinden. Researchers concluded that talking on a cellphone while driving isn’t dangerous, according to the report in Oregonlive.com (“Distracted driving study: Cell phone texting, dialing really unsafe. Just talking? Not so bad after all,” Jan. 2, 2014).

“We are aware of previous scientific studies that have examined the risks of talking on cellphones and driving, and research shows that talking on the phone increases the risk of a crash by four times,” Zbinden said. “As personal injury attorneys, we have seen serious car accident cases in which a negligent driver was talking on a cellphone instead of focusing on driving. With so much previous evidence contradicting that part of the findings of this new study, we will continue to strongly encourage drivers to avoid all distractions, including talking on the phone. Accidents in the Portland area often happen because drivers are distracted. Over the past several years, texting accidents have become an epidemic. People must understand that their careless action behind the wheel have consequences.”

According to Oregonlive.com, a co-author of the study, conducted by Virginia Tech researchers, said researchers separated talking on the phone and driving from dialing and driving. Co-author Tom Dingus, director of the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute, stated that “talking on a phone did not increase crash risk among experienced or novice drivers, while dialing increased risk for both groups,” according to Oregonlive.com.

The article quoted road and safety advocates and distracted driving researchers who dismissed the findings regarding talking on phones and driving.

Oregonlive.com cited state statistics from 2012 which stated that distracted driving was a contributing factor in 3,199 crashes and seven traffic fatalities in Oregon. During the previous year, there were 3,191 crashes involving distracted drivers on state roads in which 15 people were killed.

“It’s quite alarming to read about the number of distracted driving accidents each year in Oregon,” Zbinden said. “On average, there are about nine distracted driving accidents every day in our state. These are accidents that could have been prevented if the driver was paying attention. We challenge every Oregon driver to make the responsible decision to avoid using a cellphone while driving. It only takes a moment of distraction for a serious accident to happen.”

According to Oregonlive.com, 37 states, including Oregon, have completely banned drivers under 18 from using a cellphone behind the wheel. Oregon and Washington are two of 13 states that have made driving while using hand-held cellphones illegal.

Zbinden said anyone injured by a distracted driver or who loses a loved one because of distracted driving should seek the advice of legal counsel. An attorney can help pursue compensation and hold the negligent individual accountable, he said.

About Zbinden & Curtis

Portland personal injury law firm Zbinden & Curtis represents injury victims throughout Oregon and Washington. Attorneys Jon Zbinden and George Curtis have practiced law since 1982. Since their partnership began in 1987, Zbinden and Curtis have assisted thousands of injury victims and their families in personal injury cases, ranging from minor injuries to catastrophic injury or death. The firm handles a range of cases, including car accidents, truck accidents, motorcycle accidents, products liability, slip and fall accidents and dangerous drugs. The law firm offers a free consultation to all potential clients. Attorneys Zbinden and Curtis work on a contingency fee basis. That means clients only pay if they win.

For more information about the rights of people injured in distracted driving accidents and the legal options available to families in Oregon and Washington, call (503) 287-5000 or complete the online contact form.

Zbinden & Curtis
817 NE Broadway St.
Portland, OR 97232

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