Avoiding Car Accidents Amid Oregon’s Thanksgiving Freeze Order
Posted on behalf of RizkLaw on Nov 25, 2020 in Auto Accident
Amid the state’s continued spike in confirmed new COVID-19 cases, Governor Kate Brown has issued a statewide freeze, which will be in effect throughout the Thanksgiving holiday. This latest step-back from reopening, Executive Order 20-65, is temporary, but deemed necessary to help curb the alarming spread of the virus in Oregon.
Rizk Law discusses these updates, how they may impact the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday, and why a record number of car crashes are predicted for the 2020 holiday season.
Our experienced Portland car accident lawyers are ready to provide legal help if you are injured due to another’s negligent driving, and we offer a completely free consultation to determine if you may have a case. There is no risk or obligation for this service, so contact our firm to learn if you may have legal options.
The Current Freeze Order Explained
The new statewide freeze went into effect on November 18 and will continue through December 2, a move the governor believes is an important step in helping to contain the ongoing spread of the virus while also conserving critical hospital bed space for others who become ill or suffer injuries throughout the holiday season.
The two-week order includes:
- At-home and social gatherings: Indoor, outdoor and Thanksgiving/holiday gatherings are strictly limited to six people or less from a maximum of two households.
- Eating out: Restaurants and other food establishments are limited to providing take-out or delivery only.
- Church services and other faith-based gatherings: Limited to no more than 25 people if indoors or 50 if outside.
- Gyms, fitness centers, indoor recreational facilities, sport courts and pools: Disallowed/closed
- Museums, movie theaters and other indoor entertainment: Disallowed/closed
- Zoos, outdoor sports, pools, gardens, aquariums and other outdoor activities: Disallowed/closed
- All entertainment or hosting venues: Disallowed/closed
- Businesses: Working from home is mandated where possible and all offices open to the public must close.
- Retail stores and shopping malls: Capacity is limited to 75 percent or less; curbside pickup is encouraged.
- Essential shopping, such as pharmacies and grocery stores: Also limited to 75 percent capacity with curbside pickup.
- Reinstating nursing home visitation restrictions: Outdoor visitation still allowed to support resident quality of life.
Medical facilities, government buildings, school-based food programs, homeless shelters and other emergency response activities are still open. However, these entities are strongly urged to adhere to social distancing guidelines, frequent handwashing measures, use of face masks, staggered schedules and other recommended measures to further help limit the spread of the virus.
Impact on Thanksgiving Day Celebrations
You may be able to have a couple of your extended family members join you for your Thanksgiving dinner, but only those from one other household. Your total gathering cannot be more than six people, including those in your own household.
While there are opinions on both sides of this order, the governor has made it fully enforceable by law, even to the point of encouraging neighbors to call in a violation.
Some critics went as far as calling enforcement of the order unconstitutional, however, Governor Brown responded that her top priority was to “keep Oregonians healthy and safe.”
Enforcement of this order could include:
- Maximum fine of $500 per day
- Class C misdemeanor charges, if the individual knowingly violated the order, which may be accompanied by:
- 30 days in jail
- Additional fines of up to $1,250
Why a High Number of Car Crashes Are Still Expected
In spite of various lockdown orders around the country, the National Safety Council (NSC) is still predicting a record number of serious car crashes over the Thanksgiving holiday. NSC estimated a staggering 485 fatalities and 55,300 injuries due to car crashes – just over the holiday weekend. If these predicted calculations become reality, it will be the highest number of Thanksgiving weekend accidents in the U.S. since 2008.
Some of the most likely reasons for the accidents and injuries include:
- People failing to buckle up
- Driving impaired due to alcohol, drugs
- Driving while drowsy
- Reckless or aggressive driving
- Excessive speeding
- Distracted driving
This holiday season, it is important to continue to be mindful of the serious safety concerns associated with the ongoing pandemic. However, when food shopping for the holidays, picking up something from the pharmacy or even grabbing some of those Black Friday bargains, it is imperative to stay alert for other potential dangers as well, including:
- Watching out for bicyclists and pedestrians that may be distracted
- Following driving laws
- Staying alert and off your cellphone while walking through parking lots, walking locally or even just going to and from your car
Seek Legal Help After a Car Crash That Leaves You Injured
If you are injured in a car accident due to another’s negligence, you may benefit by hiring one of our attorneys. We are prepared to help you pursue compensation for your medical costs, lost wages and other associated losses. We have represented accident victims throughout Oregon and obtained millions in compensation on their behalf. Read what some of our clients have said about their experience with our services.
After your free initial consultation, you are not obligated to hire our firm. However, if we represent you, there no upfront costs or attorney fees. We do not collect our fees until your case concludes, and only if we recover compensation through a settlement or verdict.