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Most crashes on Hwy 199 caused by people, not roads

The Oregon Department of Transportation says most crashes on Highway 199 happen because of three reasons.

Posted: Jul 16, 2019 3:48 AM
Updated: Jul 16, 2019 7:12 AM

GRANTS PASS, Ore. -- The main reason crashes happen along Highway 199 is because of how people are driving. That includes driving too fast, following another car too closely or driver error. 

Driver error can include a couple of different things. It could mean driving drunk or driving while distracted. 

ODOT said the number of crashes start to increase in May. Out of all the summer months, July has the most crashes on Highway 199. Traffic along Redwood Highway increases during the summer because people are traveling for vacation. 

There are a couple of signs to look for if you think there's been a crash. Rural Metro Fire said to watch for cars slowing down around you and emergency lights. First responders will be at the scene of a crash to help re-direct traffic. 

Rural Metro Fire said you can't predict how others drive, but you can be safe by buckling up. 

"It comes back down to the message of making sure that you are an attentive driver," said Division Chief Austin Prince from Rural Metro Fire. "Even if you know you're the safest person on the road and you're the most attentive person out there, anticipate that another vehicle that's out there could actually cross into your lane and cause a crash. Just be prepared for anything to happen."

ODOT said there are more deadly crashes and injuries on the Grants Pass Parkway than Highway 199.

Over the past 15 years, ODOT spent about $55 million on Highway 199. More than half of that money was spent on improving safety. 

The department will start working on a Corridor Plan soon. They will be studying the area from Grants Pass to Cave Junction to help them see if different things, such as turn lanes or added lanes, will make the highway safer. 

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