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Distracted Driving Awareness Month Sheds Light On Dangerous Habits Behind The Wheel

April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month! Here's what local law enforcement have noticed since Oregon went hands-free back in October.

Posted: Apr 3, 2018 12:09 PM
Updated: Apr 3, 2018 5:44 PM

MEDFORD, Ore. -- April is Distracted Driving Awareness month  and it's shedding light on the damages caused by distracted driving.

According to research by the Oregon Department of Transportation, a distracted driver causes a crash every 2.5 hours - almost 10 crashes a day. That study was conducted between 2012 and 2016, before the state implemented its hands-free law in October 2017. 

While local law enforcement says it's too early to tell how the hands-free law has impacted distracted driving in Oregon, one deputy with the Jackson County Sheriff's Office says he's noticed a difference since the law went into effect. 

"During my time as a traffic deputy, I've seen a reduction in the cell phone usage [and] citations that I've personally written," said Cpl. Ryan Groom. "And I have seen a reduction in the use both on and off-duty."

A recent study by AAA revealed certain forms of distractions are taking a driver's hands off the wheel for extended periods of time. It found programming navigation was the most distracting task. Experts say it took drivers an average of 40 seconds for drivers to complete. 

Local law enforcement says smart phones whether you're on the phone or using GPS, is still a real problem for drivers and that the consequences are simply not worth it. 

"[I've seen] a lot of traffic crashes associated with that...using cell phones," said Cpl. Groom. "It only takes a second to be distracted before you become involved in a crash."

You can demonstrate your support for Distracted Driving Awareness by using the #DriveHealthy hashtag. 

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 206851

Reported Deaths: 2756
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah40371614
Washington26781248
Marion23425323
Clackamas18932235
Lane13908164
Jackson11535146
Deschutes1001882
Umatilla859387
Linn561181
Yamhill478279
Klamath477678
Polk399356
Douglas388483
Malheur361463
Josephine360672
Benton326522
Jefferson237039
Coos216637
Columbia192129
Union149924
Wasco144430
Lincoln143021
Crook129223
Hood River121633
Morrow115416
Clatsop10589
Baker101115
Curry71011
Tillamook6604
Grant5507
Lake4678
Harney4339
Wallowa1945
Gilliam801
Sherman671
Wheeler351
Unassigned00

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Cases: 3809710

Reported Deaths: 63356
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles124774424456
Riverside3016684627
San Bernardino2992894845
San Diego2818103771
Orange2730575113
Santa Clara1201632188
Kern1107991404
Sacramento1078211736
Fresno1029471724
Alameda896591277
Ventura816611031
San Joaquin747271440
Contra Costa70730813
Stanislaus634971070
Tulare49776849
Monterey43836432
San Mateo42681581
San Francisco37269556
Santa Barbara34613455
Solano33762266
Merced32313478
Sonoma30884317
Imperial28855741
Placer23589299
Kings23195247
San Luis Obispo21421261
Madera16638245
Santa Cruz16246208
Marin14206230
Yolo14160212
Butte12668194
Shasta12630233
El Dorado10396116
Napa1002680
Sutter9663113
Yuba648951
San Benito610963
Lassen578424
Tehama573463
Nevada491975
Humboldt449948
Mendocino434050
Tuolumne421271
Amador374047
Lake356345
Glenn243427
Siskiyou239637
Colusa228418
Calaveras220756
Del Norte14588
Inyo143438
Mono12954
Plumas7366
Modoc5585
Mariposa4657
Trinity4225
Sierra1160
Alpine890
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