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Region Transportation Safety Newsletter, June 2014
Let Helmets Protect Your Brain

Bicycle helmets are required by law in Oregon for kids under 16 years old, not only while bicycling, but also while skateboarding, riding a scooter or in-line skating. To stay safe, ride bicycles on the right with traffic, use hand signals, obey traffic signs and signals, be visible and stay alert. Wearing a bicycle helmet can reduce the risk of head injury by 85%. Ride safely. The Way to Go.

more on bike safety  

Oregon Ranks # 1 in Safety Belt Use

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) has released its 2013 analysis of motorists and passengers using safety restraints, and Oregon topped the list with 98.2 percent usage.  In comparison, the nationwide safety belt use rate was 87 percent.  Safety belts, when used, reduce the risk of fatal injury to front-seat passenger car occupants by 45 percent and light-truck occupants by 60 percent according to NHTSA.  Safety belts and child safety seats save lives!

New Research on Benefits of Side Airbags

We were aware that side airbags in a vehicle helped reduce injury during side-impact crashes, but new research shows the benefits extend to rollover crashes as well. Side curtain airbags that deploy in rollover crashes help reduce front-seat occupant deaths in rollovers by 41 percent according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). If you are shopping for a new vehicle, this status report lists the safety benefits of each type of side airbag.  


National Ride to Work Day is June 17

Motorcyclists have all the same rights and privileges as any motor vehicle driver on the roadway. During National Ride to Work Day on June 17 - and during the rest of the year - drivers of all other vehicles and all road users are reminded to safely "share the road" with motorcyclists, and to be extra alert to help keep motorcyclists safe.

  • Always signal when changing lanes or merging with traffic.
  • If you see a motorcycle with a signal on, be careful: motorcycle signals are often non-canceling and could have been forgotten. Always ensure that the motorcycle is turning before proceeding.
  • Check all mirrors and blind spots for motorcycles before changing lanes or merging with traffic, especially at intersections.
  • Always allow more follow distance – three to four seconds – when behind a motorcycle. This gives them more time to maneuver or stop in an emergency.
  • Never drive distracted or impaired.



Crash Outlook Improving for Older Drivers

According to a recent study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, “older drivers are benefiting from better health overall and improved vehicle design” leading to a reduction in deaths and injuries. Read the status report


Fourth of July Drunk Driving Prevention

July 4th celebrations often include cook-outs, picnics, boating, time spent with family and friends and, of course, fireworks. But for too many families, this holiday weekend can be filled with tragedy instead of celebration. The Fourth of July is one of the deadliest holidays of the year when it comes to alcohol-impaired driving crashes on our roadways. Remember, Buzzed Driving Is Drunk Driving, so whether you’ve had way too many, or just one too many, it’s not worth the risk to yourself or others to get behind the wheel. Please plan ahead and designate a sober driver before the party begins.



NHTSA Traffic Safety Fact Sheets
Region 4 (Bend)
Region 5 (La Grande)
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