Most Common Causes of Car Accidents in Oregon

Auto accidents are one of the leading causes of death in Oregon. That is why it's important to raise awareness around this problem and hopefully influence drivers and other road users to be more cautious.

Most Common Causes of Car Accidents in Oregon

According to Oregon car accident laws, you're entitled to financial compensation if you've suffered injuries in a car accident caused by someone else's negligence. To protect your legal rights, you'll need to contact an attorney as soon as the accident occurs.

That said, here are some of the main causes of car accidents in Oregon State.

Failure to Yield the Right-of-way

Yielding the right-of-way means allowing another who has the right-of-way to enter an intersection before you do. It could be another driver, bicyclist, pedestrian, or motorcyclist. Unfortunately, some drivers do not understand this concept. They convince themselves they do not need to yield to anyone who wants to proceed to the intersection or complete a lane change.

Whenever drivers fail to yield the right-of-way, they create dangerous situations. These could lead to car accidents and serious injuries or even death.


According to a report by the National Highway Traffic Safety Authority (NHTSA), speeding causes approximately 29% of all traffic accidents in the United States. Drivers traveling at high speeds are a danger to themselves and other road users. Vehicles become more difficult to maneuver at higher speeds and are more likely to cause devastating car accidents. Speeding also increases the risk of vehicles rolling over and hitting nearby road users.

High-speed collisions usually cause some of the most life-threatening injuries. These injuries include lacerations, paralysis, spinal cord injuries, Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBIs), broken bones, whiplash, severe burns, bone fractures, and even death. Such car accidents also result in extensive property damage.

Drunk Driving

Being drunk or intoxicated causes impaired motor skills and decreased vision. It could result in poor judgment, less concentration, and slower reaction times. All of which increase the risk of getting into a car accident.

In Oregon and other parts of the United States, it's illegal to drive with a blood alcohol content of 0.08% and above. Sometimes, even alcohol levels lower than that can still affect a person's ability to drive safely on the road. As a result, it's recommended to avoid driving after taking alcohol. If you're drunk, consider calling a cab or getting a sober designated driver to take you home.

Driver Fatigue

Driver fatigue has always been a major concern on United States roads, especially among commercial drivers. Tired drivers on the road usually have slower reaction times. They are more likely to experience reduced attention while driving. This usually increases their likelihood of engaging in unsafe driving behaviors. These include tailgating, unsafe lane changing, and speeding.

Following Too Closely

In Oregon, tailgating is a finable offense and one of the major causes of car accidents in the state. If you follow another vehicle too closely and the driver stops suddenly, you may not have enough room to stop or maneuver your vehicle. This usually ends up causing erratic driving and rear-end collisions. Even if rear-end collisions are minor, sometimes they cause debilitating injuries. These include bone fractures, severe burns, and head injuries.

That said, it's important to maintain enough distance between you and the vehicle ahead of you. The National Safety Council (NSC) recommends maintaining a three-second following distance. Thus, you have enough time to recognize any hazard ahead of you and respond accordingly. You may also want to increase your following distance, especially when driving on hazardous roads or during bad weather.

Distracted Driving

According to a report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), nine people in the United States die every day in accidents involving distracted drivers. Thousands of people are also hospitalized every year with injuries. Distracted driving occurs when a driver diverts their attention from driving to focus on something else that uses their eyes, ears, or hands.

Acts contributing to distracted driving include using a navigation system and talking to passengers in the car. The driver can also be distracted by adjusting the radio, sending text messages, talking on the phone, and even eating while driving. Any one of these distractions can endanger you, your passengers, and other road users.

What to Do After a Car Accident in Oregon

If you've been involved in a car accident in Oregon, there are several things you can do to protect yourself and your legal rights. They include:

  • Stay and remain in your car if it's safe.
  • If your car is unsafe, move to safety and light up flares to warn oncoming traffic of the car accident.
  • Call 911 to report the car accident and request emergency medical services if you or anyone else has a serious injury.
  • Use your phone to take pictures of the car accident scene, your injuries, the damaged vehicles, nearby traffic signs, and license plate numbers of all vehicles involved.
  • Keep all details of the car crash to yourself, and don't admit fault to anyone.
  • Exchange contact details and insurance information with the other driver.
  • Write down the names, phone numbers, and addresses of all the witnesses at the accident scene.
  • Write down the names and badge numbers of the police officers who arrive at the scene.
  • Seek medical attention immediately after leaving the accident scene. If you wait too long before seeing a doctor after the accident, the other driver and their insurer can claim that your injuries were not severe.
  • Call a car accident lawyer to discuss your legal options.

The Bottom Line

Law enforcement agencies in Oregon have implemented several measures to help reduce cases of drunk driving, speeding, tailgating, and distracted driving in the state. These efforts have helped prevent many car accidents. They reduce the number of people killed and injured on the road.

But the work is not done yet. As a driver, it's important to think about road safety and avoid engaging in any behavior that may lead to unnecessary accidents.