Texting and Driving in Portland Oregon

Common Factors That Contribute to Accidents Involving Texting and Driving

Accidents involving texting and driving have become a pressing concern in Portland, Oregon, and across the country. The rise of smartphones and constant connectivity has contributed to an alarming increase in distracted driving incidents. 

One of the primary causes of accidents involving texting and driving is the use of handheld devices, particularly cell phones, while behind the wheel.

Many drivers cannot resist the temptation to check their messages, read emails, or even browse social media while driving.

These actions take their attention away from the road, resulting in delayed reaction times and an increased risk of collision.

Distracted drivers often mistakenly believe that using hands-free devices will mitigate the risks. However, studies have shown that even conversations on hands-free devices can cause cognitive distractions, reducing a driver’s focus and reaction time.

It’s important for drivers to understand that any use of electronic devices while driving poses a significant danger to themselves and others on the road.

In Portland, Oregon, there are strict laws in place to discourage texting and driving. First-time offenders can face fines and have the violation added to their driving record. Repeat offenders may face more severe consequences, such as months in jail or mandatory attendance at a distracted driving avoidance course.

Law enforcement agencies, such as the Oregon State Police, actively enforce these laws to ensure the safety of all road users.

Accidents caused by texting and driving are not limited to private vehicles. School bus drivers, utility truck drivers, and even professional drivers are not exempt from this dangerous behavior.

To combat this issue, both federal and state authorities have taken steps to educate the public and raise awareness. The Oregon Department of Transportation, along with various advocacy groups, has conducted studies highlighting the alarming statistics and consequences of distracted driving.

DALLAS, May 19, 2015 — When you see the driver next to you looking at their phone, it’s no longer safe to assume they’re texting. New research1 from AT&T* shows nearly 4-in-10 smartphone users tap into social media while driving. Almost 3-in-10 surf the net. And surprisingly, 1-in-10 video chat.

Seven out of ten people engage in smartphone activities while driving. Texting and emailing are still the most prevalent. But other smartphone activity use behind the wheel is now common. Among social platforms, Facebook tops the list, with more than a quarter of those polled using the app while driving. About 1-in-7 said they’re on Twitter behind the wheel.


Common Factors That Contribute to Accidents Involving Texting and Driving

Tips to Avoid Texting and Driving

Turn off notifications: One of the biggest distractions is the constant beeping and buzzing of incoming messages. To resist the urge to check your phone while driving, turn off all unnecessary notifications. This simple step will help you stay focused on the road ahead.

Use an app or setting: There are plenty of apps and features available that can assist in curbing the temptation to text and drive. These apps can automatically silence incoming notifications or send automated responses to let others know you are driving. Take advantage of these tools to create a safer driving environment.

Plan ahead: Before you start your journey, ensure that you have everything you need within reach. Make any necessary phone calls, send messages, or set up navigation before you hit the road. By preparing in advance, you can avoid the need to use your phone while driving.

Pull over safely: If you absolutely must take a call or reply to a message, find a safe spot to pull over. It is better to lose a few minutes on the road than to risk your life and the safety of others. Pull into a designated parking spot or a safe area away from traffic to address any electronic communication.

Encourage passengers to help: If you have passengers with you in the vehicle, enlist their help in managing distractions. Allow them to handle any communication on your behalf or ask them to remind you to stay focused on the road. Having someone else take on these tasks can alleviate the temptation to reach for your phone.

Lead by example: As a responsible driver, set a good example for others by refraining from texting or using electronic devices while driving. By following these guidelines, you not only protect yourself and your passengers but also encourage other drivers to do the same.

Tips to Avoid Texting and Driving​

Oregon Texting and Driving Laws

Under Oregon law, it is illegal for drivers to use any mobile communication device while operating a motor vehicle. The law applies to all drivers, regardless of age or experience, including bus drivers and utility truck drivers.

First-time offenders caught texting and driving can face a fine of up to $1,000. These individuals may also be required to attend a distracted driving avoidance course. Subsequent offenses can result in higher fines and possible jail time, with penalties increasing for each offense.

In addition to the legal consequences, distracted driving can also have a negative impact on your driving record and insurance rates. Being found guilty of texting and driving can result in points added to your driving record, which may lead to increased insurance premiums.

The Oregon Department of Transportation and the Oregon State Police have taken proactive measures to raise awareness about the dangers of texting and driving.

They have launched public education campaigns to educate drivers about the risks and consequences associated with this behavior.

Studies have shown that texting while driving can significantly impair a driver’s reaction time and cognitive ability. It takes an average of 4.6 seconds to read or compose a text message, and in that time, a vehicle traveling at 55 miles per hour can cover the length of a football field.

This lack of attention to the road can have devastating consequences and can result in serious accidents, injuries, or even fatalities.

Oregon’s law states that it is illegal to drive while holding and using a mobile electronic device (e.g. cell phone, tablet, GPS, laptop). [2] 

Fault Determined in Text and Driving Accidents

In Portland, Oregon, where texting and driving is strictly prohibited, the negligent driver who was texting behind the wheel will often be held accountable for causing the accident.

To establish fault in a texting and driving accident, evidence is crucial. This evidence can include eyewitness testimony, video footage from surveillance cameras or dashcams, cell phone records, and accident reconstruction analysis.

Eyewitnesses who can provide firsthand accounts of seeing the driver using their mobile device at the time of the accident can play a vital role in proving negligence.

Moreover, obtaining cell phone records can provide concrete evidence that the driver was indeed texting or engaged in other distracting activities at the time of the accident.

These records can show the exact times and durations of text messages or phone calls, providing a clear timeline of the driver’s distraction.

Accident reconstruction experts may also be called upon to analyze the accident scene and the damage to the vehicles involved.

By reconstructing the accident, these experts can determine factors such as speed, braking, and the point of impact. This information can help establish whether the driver’s distraction due to texting contributed to the accident.

It is important to note that in Oregon, the legal principle of comparative fault is applied in determining liability for accidents. This means that if the driver who was texting is found to be partially at fault, they can be held accountable for a percentage of the damages caused.

For example, if the driver who was texting is found to be 80% at fault and the other driver is 20% at fault, the texting driver will be held responsible for 80% of the damages.

Fault Determined in Text and Driving Accidents​ in Portland, Oregon

Have you or someone you know been involved in a texting and driving accident in Portland, Oregon?

At Goldberg & Loren, we understand the devastating consequences of texting and driving accidents. Our experienced legal team is here to help you navigate through this difficult time and obtain the compensation you deserve.

It’s time to hold those responsible accountable for their actions. With our firm’s expertise in handling texting and driving accident cases, we will fight tirelessly to ensure that you receive the justice and compensation you are entitled to.

Contact Goldberg & Loren today for a free consultation, and let us help you seek justice for your texting and driving accident.

FAQ on Texting and Driving

In Portland, Oregon, the fine for texting and driving depends on the situation. A first offense without causing a crash is a Class B violation with a maximum fine of $1,000. A second offense or a first offense causing a crash is a Class A violation with a maximum fine of $2,000. If a person commits a third offense within ten years, it becomes a Class B misdemeanor with a maximum fine of $2,500 and potential jail time of 6 months. [2]

However, please note that this amount is subject to change, and it's always advisable to check with the local authorities or the Portland Police Bureau for the most accurate and up-to-date information regarding fines and penalties related to texting and driving in the city.

If you witness someone you suspect of texting and driving in Portland, Oregon, it is recommended to safely and responsibly gather as much information as possible, such as the license plate number, vehicle description, and location. Once it is safe to do so, you can report the incident to the non-emergency line of the Portland Police Bureau or the local law enforcement agency. Providing this information can help authorities investigate and take appropriate action.

Yes, Portland has launched various initiatives and campaigns to combat texting and driving. These include public awareness campaigns that educate drivers about the dangers of distracted driving and encourage responsible behavior. Local law enforcement agencies also conduct enforcement actions to enforce the laws and discourage drivers from engaging in distracted driving.

In addition to texting and driving, other forms of distracted driving are also prohibited in Portland, Oregon. This includes activities such as talking on a handheld phone, using a mobile device for any purpose (including browsing the internet or using social media), and engaging in any other activity that diverts attention from the road. It is crucial for drivers to stay focused on driving and avoid all distractions to ensure the safety of themselves and others.

Yes, hands-free devices are allowed for making calls while driving in Portland, Oregon. However, it is still important to remain focused on the road and use hands-free devices responsibly. Texting, emailing, or any other manual use of electronic devices is still prohibited, even if using hands-free technology.


[1] Smartphone Use While Driving Grows Beyond Texting | AT&T. (n.d.). https://about.att.com/story/smartphone_use_while_driving_grows_beyond_texting.html

[2] Oregon Department of Transportation : Distracted Driving : Safety : State of Oregon. (n.d.). Oregon Department of Transportation : Distracted Driving : Safety : State of Oregon. https://www.oregon.gov/ODOT/Safety/Pages/Distracted.aspx

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