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Are Oregon’s Roads Getting Safer? 

Safety is a topic we see routinely discussed in many contexts. For example, with constant news cycles depicting war and uprisings around the globe, some worry about national security. In that context, you might be surprised to learn that the world is safer from war than it has ever been before. We can hope that is driven by the maturity and wisdom that comes with the experience and aging of societies worldwide. 

Similarly, a broad spectrum of industries, from railroading to construction, assert that they have substantially improved in protecting workers and society from the dangers of their activities. That is unsurprising, given the continuing technological breakthroughs and focus on worker safety.

So, what about driving? As much time as we spend in a car, safety is a major concern. Is it safer than before on Oregon’s roadways? That is the topic we will address in this blog post.

Oregon Safety Trends

“Safety” can be measured in many ways. Therefore, the answer to whether Oregon’s roads have become “safer” is not always straightforward. Our discussion will be a mixed bag, with positives and negatives. Let’s start with the positive.

Positive Safety News

Willamette Week, quoting a YourMechanic study from 2018, reported that Oregon is the fourth safest state in America in which to drive. The research relied on numerous statistics, such as:

  • Driver skill level (determined by statistics from factors such as drunk driving, various fatality rates, failure to obey traffic laws, and speed-related accidents)
  • Quality of roads and bridges
  • Weather
  • Level of driver aggression

The research result is undoubtedly something Oregon drivers can be proud of, and a hopeful signal that Oregon is on the right path regarding traffic safety.

Another positive study found Oregon to have safer roads than most other states. In addition, restrictions on cell phone usage and strict seat belt laws were cited as positive safety features.

Negative Safety Trends

Unfortunately, there have also recently been some troubling safety trends in Oregon. According to the Tillamook Headlight Herald, the Oregon State Police (OSP) have noted an alarming trend in fatal crashes in Oregon from 2019 – 2021. OSP cited speed and lane safety as the two largest contributing factors.

Similarly, Oregon Public Broadcasting recently reported that the surge in fatal traffic accidents experienced in both Oregon and Washington continues to be problematic. Fatalities reached the highest level in 20 years in 2021 and dropped only slightly in 2022. Hopefully, these disturbing trends can be brought back under control.

 Call with Questions

No matter what happens with safety advancements and requirements, it is likely that car accidents in Oregon will continue to happen long into the future. Unfortunately, there are always those people who are willing to take risks that endanger others. If the negligence of such a person injures you, you will certainly have questions about your legal rights. 

The experienced Oregon personal injury attorneys at Nelson MacNeil Rayfield are here to answer those questions. Simply give us a call and schedule a free consultation. We will help you understand your rights and be here to provide representation if needed.