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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. 

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Confirmed Cases: 19978

Reported Deaths: 338
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Multnomah460893
Washington292124
Marion275568
Umatilla214126
Clackamas146438
Malheur71512
Deschutes5558
Lane5403
Jackson4211
Lincoln4149
Yamhill40412
Union3922
Jefferson3323
Morrow3272
Polk30112
Linn26310
Klamath2001
Hood River1780
Wasco1723
Benton1626
Douglas1401
Josephine1082
Coos890
Columbia860
Clatsop830
Crook421
Baker360
Tillamook340
Lake320
Wallowa191
Curry140
Sherman140
Harney100
Gilliam40
Grant20
Unassigned00
Wheeler00

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San Diego30516568
Kern21433152
Fresno15945157
Alameda12136193
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Sacramento10174148
Tulare10078193
Imperial9513232
Stanislaus9308135
Contra Costa8324131
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San Francisco708162
Santa Barbara652664
San Mateo5758120
Marin518076
Monterey496634
Merced458351
Kings445356
Solano380638
Sonoma320842
Madera211432
Placer199819
San Luis Obispo197016
Yolo161442
Santa Cruz11964
Butte10128
Napa10079
Sutter8406
San Benito6894
El Dorado6681
Lassen6320
Yuba5334
Shasta4049
Colusa3594
Glenn3462
Mendocino3419
Nevada3161
Tehama2491
Humboldt2454
Lake2111
Mono1461
Tuolumne1442
Amador1370
Calaveras1361
Del Norte900
Siskiyou880
Inyo661
Mariposa592
Plumas330
Trinity50
Modoc40
Sierra30
Alpine20
Unassigned00
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