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Region Transportation Safety Newsletter, July 2014
Move Over for Emergency Vehicles

Police, fire, EMS, emergency personnel, and tow truck drivers put their lives on the line every day to deliver often life-saving care to travelers. Helping to ensure they make it home safely at the end of their shift is the goal. The Move Over law says if you are driving up to any type of emergency vehicle you must move over to another lane. If you cannot safely change lanes, you must slow down. Move Over or Slow Down. The Way to Go.

More on Move Over law  

Decline in Passenger Vehicle Occupant Fatalities

A number of traffic safety improvements have been identified as factors in saving lives, according to a new NHTSA report. Among the top improvements are a decrease in alcohol-related fatal crashes and changes in cultural attitudes about drinking and driving, an increase in safety belt use, vehicle improvements (i.e., frontal air bags, side air bags, electronic stability control, roof strength, ejection mitigation, safety belt pretensioners, etc.), and roadway improvements, including better roadway lighting, rumble strips, more medians, and automated collision notification. Read the full report (PDF 1MB)


Passenger Vehicle Occupant Fatality Rate, by Vehicle Body Type, 1975-2011


New NHTSA Study Shows Economic Impact of Motor Vehicle Crashes

According to the US DOT, the three factors causing the crashes with the greatest total economic cost are impaired driving, speeding, and driving while distracted. Types of economic costs factored are productivity losses, property damage, medical costs, congestion costs, legal and court costs, emergency services, insurance, costs to employers, among other things. More  


Traffic Safety Facts 2012

The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has released a compilation of descriptive statistics about traffic crashes of all severities, ranging from those that result in property damage to those that result in fatalities. Read the full report (PDF 3MB)



Motorcyclist Fatalities on the Rise

In 2012, 4,957 motorcyclists were killed in motor vehicle traffic crashes in the U.S.—an increase of 7 percent from the 4,630 motorcyclists killed in 2011. According to NHTSA, motorcyclists accounted for 15 percent of all traffic fatalities in 2012 and, per vehicle mile traveled, motorcyclists were more than 26 times more likely than passenger car occupants to die in a traffic crash. Some factors in crashes were motorcyclists colliding into the back of vehicles in front of them, vehicles turning left in front of the motorcyclist, striking fixed objects, alcohol impairment, and speeding. In addition, there has been a larger proportion of fatalities on motorcycles with engine sizes of 1,001 cc or higher. Helmets are estimated to be 37 percent effective in preventing fatal injuries to motorcycle riders, according to NHTSA. Read the full report (PDF 550KB)




Teens in Cars

Safe Kids Worldwide has released a report that explores teens’ perceptions of safety while in a car and considers reasons why some teens choose not to wear a seat belt. Read the full report (PDF 2MB)




Distracted Driving Laws Across the U.S.

Washington was the first state to institute a ban on texting while driving in 2007.  Now, 43 states have a law that prohibits texting while driving for all drivers.  In Oregon, texting while driving is a primary law, meaning an officer may pull you over without any other traffic offense taking place. Despite the risks associated with distracted driving, a growing number of drivers admit to reading or sending text messages while driving. More 


Volkswagen’s New Distracted Driving PSA Goes Viral

Volkswagen has a clever way to show how risky it is to use mobile phones while driving. This ad titled “Eyes on the road” was shown in a Hong Kong movie theater. Play video: http://youtu.be/JHixeIr_6BM



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