According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, distracted driving crashes that were reported by the police in 2013 led to 424,000 injury cases and 3,154 fatalities. Drivers in Oregon should know that most distracted driving crashes, though, arguably go unreported, so the annual numbers are likely much higher.

To avoid the dangers of multitasking on the road, drivers should first of all understand what the three types of distractions are that they should avoid. One is the manual distraction, which is anything that takes one or both of a driver’s hands off the steering wheel. This can include getting something out of a purse, adjusting the radio and eating and drinking.

Another is the visual distraction, which takes drivers’ eyes off the road. GPS systems and even a quick glance to make sure the children are buckled up constitute such a distraction. The third distraction is called cognitive because it causes the mind to wander from the task of driving. Listening to the radio and talking with a passenger can do this.

Drivers should cut out all phone use behind the wheel, opting for a hands-free device in case of emergencies. As for setting the GPS, eating, drinking and making sure the children and the pets are strapped in, this should all be done before heading out.

Those who are involved in motor vehicle collisions because a driver was engaged in one or more of the above-mentioned distractions may have a valid personal injury case on their hands. Of course, Oregon being a no-fault state, there are limits as to who can pursue that type of case, so victims who want to learn more may consult an attorney. With an attorney, they may strive for a settlement that covers all their economic and non-economic damages.