In an effort to increase safety for all drivers on the road, and create awareness of distracted driving, last year, the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, designated April as national “Distracted Driving Awareness” month. In participation with the campaign, throughout the day tomorrow, the Eugene Police Traffic Enforcement Unit will be targeting distracted drivers in the 6th and 7th Avenue corridor, to increase awareness in our community about this issue.
In 2014, EPD issued 907 citations for Driver use of Cellphone (ORS 811.507), a slight drop from the 954 citations issued in 2013, but still above 813 issued in 2012, and significantly above 522 citations that were issued in 2011. Distracted driving continues to be an issue in our community and on a national level, as indicated in the following information from the NHTSA.
Information from NHTSA: Based on fatal accident reports, NHTSA data shows that at least 3,154 people were killed in crashes involving all distracted drivers in 2013, including those who were texting and driving. NHTSA estimates that 424,000 Americans were injured in all distraction-affected crashes in 2013.
Key statistical findings in NHTSA’s new Distracted Driving Traffic Safety Facts and Teen Distracted Driver fact sheet include:
Ten percent of fatal crashes, 18 percent of injury crashes, and 16 percent of all motor vehicle traffic crashes in 2013 were reported as distraction-affected crashes, which are defined as any crash in which a driver was identified as distracted at the time of the crash.
Ten percent of all drivers 15 to 19 years old involved in fatal crashes were reported as distracted at the time of the crashes. This age group has the largest proportion of drivers who were distracted at the time of the crash.
244 Americans aged 15 to 19 were killed in distraction-affected crashes.
In 2013, there were 480 non-occupants killed in distraction-affected crashes.
To prevent distracted driving, motorists are urged to:
Turn off electronic devices and put them out of reach before starting to drive.
Be good role models for young drivers and set a good example. Talk with your teens about responsible driving.
Speak up when you are a passenger and your driver uses an electronic device while driving. Offer to make the call for the driver, so his or her full attention stays on the driving task.
Always wear your seat belt. Seat belts are the best defense against other unsafe drivers.
Eugene Police Department, Distracted Driving PSA