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Distracted Driving

The Oregon Department of Transportation is actively working to raise awareness about the dangers of distracted driving. This is being done through public service ads, education and agency partnerships.

 

​Distraction occurs when a driver diverts attention to something not related to driving that uses the driver's eyes, ears or hands.

There are four types of driver distraction:

  • Visual - looking at something other than the road
  • Auditory - hearing something not related to driving
  • Manual - handling something other than the steering wheel
  • Cognitive - thinking about something other than driving


Most distractions involve more than one of these types, both a sensory - eyes, ears or touch - and a mental component.

​“Distracted Driving” is a dangerous behavior for drivers, passengers, and non-occupants alike. Distraction is a specific type of inattention that occurs when drivers divert their attention from the driving task to focus on some other activity instead (per NHTSA).

  • From 2011-2015 there were 9,951 crashes resulting in 54 fatalities and 15,150 injuries caused by crashes involving a distracted driver in Oregon.
  • From 2011-2015 there were 917 crashes, resulting in 14 fatalities and 1,330 injuries caused by drivers reported to have been using a cell phone at the time of the crash.
  • From 2011-2015 there were 110 crashes, resulting in 0 fatalities and 166 injuries caused by drivers ages 16 to 18 who was reported to have been using a cell phone at the time of the crash.
  • These crashes are underreported; convictions for this office during the same time frame totaled 94,099.

Cell Phone Fatalities, Injuries and Convictions Table 2011-2015

Reducing Distracted Driving In Oregon 2017 Statewide Report
Bend - Distracted Driving Survey 2015 Final Report
Roseburg - Distracted Driving Survey 2016 Final Report

​Alexxyss Therwhanger, age 19, was killed in a car crash on February 19, 2016 while she was driving home in eastern Oregon. Alexxyss was using her cell phone and lost control of her car, colliding with an oncoming vehicle and severely injuring two other people. Alexxyss would have just turned 20 on May 28, 2016. 

To make drivers aware of the serious consequences of distracted driving, the Oregon Department of Transportation and Oregon State Police have produced a distracted driving TV PSA. The PSA features Alexxyss' mother in an effort to persuade drivers to pay attention and to drive without distractions, especially cell phones.  
 
 

​Distracted driving has become an epidemic in Oregon. Every three hours someone in Oregon is injured by distracted driving behavior. The Oregon Transportation Commission has organized a Distracted Driving Task Force to find ways to curb distracted driving. 


 

Kelly Kapri 
Program Manager
503-986-3293

Transportation Safety Division
ODOT-TLC Building, MS 3
4040 Fairview Industrial Drive SE
Salem, OR 97302-1142

 

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