PUT YOUR PHONE DOWN! Distracted driving is STILL causing so many accidents these days. Even with hands-free options, people are still just not taking proper steps to ensure they are not driving distracted.

Distracted driving continues to be a major issue. On average each day in the United States, more than 8 people are killed and 1,161 injured in crashes that are reported to involve a distracted driver, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Yearly that adds up to 420,000 injuries and 3,100 deaths from people texting, reading emails, or engaging in other distracted behaviors while driving. Although 47 states have laws that restrict the use of cell phones while driving (Oregon added new restrictions in 2017), the problem is reaching epidemic proportions. The Oregon Department of Transportation is working to reduce distracted driving crashes through our Drive Healthy campaign, distracted driving presentations and events, and partnering with law enforcement and other agencies. In February, ODOT helped educate hundreds of students and adults in Hermiston about the dangers of distracted driving. The program involved school assemblies with guest speakers whose family members died in distracted driving-related crashes. More outreach efforts are planned throughout April, National Distracted Driving Awareness Month. -ODOT
What are you doing to make sure you're not driving distracted? There are some simple steps to make sure that you have your eyes and attention on the road. If your car has hands-free options already built in, great! USE EM! If you need to buy a holder for your phone there are several models that are inexpensive and fit most cars. Or, be crazy and just put your phone away and out of reach while you're driving. It seems like a stretch, but really it's for your safety and the safety of those around you. Please be careful out there!

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