Archive for December, 2014

Portland Auto Accidents a Holiday Risk

The holiday season should be a nice time to enjoy activities with friends and family throughout Portland, Hillsboro, Gresham, and surrounding areas. While celebrating the season is a great thing to do, consuming alcohol and getting behind the wheel is the wrong way to enjoy the holidays. Despite the tremendous risks of impaired driving, many motorists continue to create havoc. Drivers may be unaware that they are too drunk to drive or simply may fail to plan ahead and assume they can make it home. This has a tremendous cost in terms of lost lives.

An experienced personal injury lawyer knows that the period from Thanksgiving to New Years has a very high percentage of impaired driving fatalities. In fact, while drunk driving deaths have generally been declining, the number of deadly crashes during this period of time has increased in recent years. Mothers Against Drunk Driving hopes to prevent this with its public awareness campaign, Tie One on For Safety.

Preventing Holiday Drunk Driving Crashes Through Public Awareness Efforts

The Tie One On for Safety campaign has been going on for 26 years. It gets its name from the expression, to tie one on, which refers to becoming intoxicated or consuming alcohol. MADD is encouraging people to tie on a ribbon, or to affix a red ribbon sticker to their vehicles.

The purpose of the red ribbon is twofold. The ribbon reflects a commitment not to get behind the wheel while impaired and to always drive sober. The ribbon also reflects support for the efforts of police officers, who step up enforcement during the holiday season in order to try to keep intoxicated motorists off of the roads.

The holiday season is a perfect time for such a campaign because it is a period with a higher-than-average percentage of deaths attributed to impaired driving. In 2010, for example, a total of 31 percent of deadly collisions over the course of the year involved a driver who was impaired. During the New Years period, on the other hand, a total of 48 percent of the collisions that caused fatalities involved a driver who was impaired. During the Christmas period, a total of 37 percent of the deadly collisions involved a driver who was intoxicated.

The New Years period is defined as including New Years Eve, New Years day as well as the holiday weekend. During this period of time in 2010, there were 143 motor vehicle accident deaths in crashes involving an impaired driver. In 2009, there were 185 drunk driving New Years deaths and in 2008 there were 175 drunk driving New Years fatalities.

The Christmas period is also defined as including Christmas Eve, Christmas day as well as the holiday weekend. During this period of time in 2010, 96 people died in collisions involving an impaired driver. In 2009, there are also 95 fatalities due to drunk drivers and in 2008, there were 138 drunk driving Christmas deaths.

Hopefully, more motorists this year will participate in MADD’s campaign and fewer drivers will make the choice to get behind the wheel drunk, endangering themselves and others.

Portland accident victims should contact Zbinden & Curtis, Attorneys at Law, by calling 1-503-287-5000 or visiting http://www.zbinden-curtis.com

Preventing Portland Back-Over Accidents With Rear View Cameras

Back-over collisions occur if a driver is reversing his vehicle and strikes a person who was behind the car. Kids are the most likely victims. These types of crashes can happen because drivers have a blind spot in the back of their vehicles where they cannot see people and objects in their path.

A personal injury lawyer understands some larger cars tend to have bigger blind spots and thus there is a greater risk of a back-over crash.

Preventing back-over collisions requires drivers to follow some basic safety precautions, such as walking behind their vehicle to check for objects or people before starting to drive. A recent study from AAA and reported on the Auto Channel  also found the installation of rear view cameras could make a substantial difference in preventing a collision from occurring.

Rear view Cameras Can Reduce Back-over Collision Dangers in Portland 

AAA tested 17 different cars made by 11 different vehicle manufacturers. Some of the cars had factory-installed systems and others had aftermarket systems that were installed later. Overall, a 46 percent increase in rear visibility occurred due to the cameras. The biggest improvement in visibility for drivers occurred in the 10 feet immediately behind the car. This is the most dangerous area for kids, as young children can often come into this area and go unseen.

Kids and Cars indicates that each week, 50 kids in the U.S. are the victims of back-over crashes. As a result of these collisions, 48 children need treatment in a hospital and two children are killed. Around 60 percent of the deadly collisions occur when drivers are in larger cars like vans, sport utility vehicles and trucks, and the parent or a close relative of the child is the driver of the car in around 70 percent of instances.

Hatchbacks, which are a particularly dangerous car, could achieve a 75 percent increase in rear visibility if a back-over camera was installed.  Sedans, which tend to have better visibility to begin with, also got a 36 percent improvement.  Since these cameras made such a big impact, parents and relatives of young kids should very strongly consider having a rear view camera installed in their car or choosing a vehicle that comes with this technology.

Unfortunately, not all cars today have rear view cameras even though this safety technology can save lives. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) believes rear view cameras are important and is mandating that they be installed in all vehicles. However, the mandate does not go into effect until 2016. Until the cameras are a standard offering, parents will need to shop around.

AAA does caution rear view cameras are not a guarantee that no back-over crashes will occur. Drivers should be sure to walk behind their vehicles as part of their standard practice, but should also make a point to wipe off the camera while they do this walk so they can ensure it is free of debris.  Bad weather can also have an impact on how well cameras work. The bottom line is, drivers need to remember to exercise reasonable care in pulling out even when a camera is being used.

Portland accident victims should contact Zbinden & Curtis, Attorneys at Law, by calling 1-503-287-5000 or visiting http://www.zbinden-curtis.com