Distracted driving is a serious threat on the road and continues to cause serious and fatal accidents in Oregon. The Oregon Department of Transportation reported 16,987 car accidents in Oregon during 2010 to 2014 that were caused by distracted driving.
Drivers need to understand the risks and take steps to prevent distractions before it's too late. What can drivers do to stay safe behind the wheel? The first step is to be aware of the dangers of distracted driving and make a conscious effort to prevent distractions.
The Oregon Department of Transportation is raising awareness to the hazards of distracted driving by airing television and radio ads to make drivers aware of their own risky behaviors. According to the ODOT, distracted driving falls into four different types:
- Visual - looking away from the road or at passengers
- Manual - taking your hands of the steering wheel
- Cognitive - thinking or talking about other things than driving
- Auditory - listening to loud music or distractions from passengers talking
The CDOT states that most distracted driving incidents involve two or more of these types, often with at least one distraction affecting cognitive function.
Distracted driving can be caused by cellphone use, talking to passengers, eating, drinking, changing the radio or control settings, looking at something on the side of the road and a variety of other situations. All drivers need to be aware of the risks of distracted driving to keep everyone safe on the road.
Looking away from the road for a few seconds may not seem risky, but a lot can happen behind the wheel. What can you do? Put your cellphone away and always focus on the road to prevent an accident and to keep everyone safe on the road.