Transportation Safety Newsletter, September 2023

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September 2023

Labor Day Holidy

Friends look out for each other. Have a plan. Drive sober.

Over the Labor Day weekend in 2021, 41 percent of traffic fatalities in the U.S. involved a driver who was drunk. The choice is simple: Plan a sober ride home. Impairment — no matter the substance — can be deadly. Enjoy Labor Day to the fullest with your friends and family! Just have a plan in place for a safe ride home. And make sure your friends have a safe, sober ride home, too. Have a plan. Drive sober. Save lives.

Child Passenger Safety Week

Love comes in many shapes and sizes. Image of child car seats.

Car crashes are a leading cause of death for children, according to the latest NHTSA data. A child is involved in a crash while riding in a passenger vehicle, on average, every 25 seconds. When installed correctly, car seats can reduce the risk of fatal injury in a crash by 71 percent for infants and by 54 percent for toddlers. During Child Passenger Safety Week on September 17-23, find more information on how to determine if your child is in the right seat for their age and size and how to keep your child safe in a car seat.

Back-to-School Safety

Slow down for kids. Drive safely. The way to go.

In the days to come, thousands of students will be lining up at bus stops, riding bikes on paths and streets, or walking to school, thinking about a whole host of things besides being safe. ODOT reminds parents – and drivers – that when you think of back-to-school, think about “safety.” Slow down and stay alert in neighborhoods and school zones, and be on the lookout for pedestrians before, during, and after school hours. Focus on driving when you’re behind the wheel, not your phone or other distractions. Come to a complete stop at stop signs and check carefully for people walking and biking on sidewalks and in crosswalks before proceeding. A new school year is a busy and exciting time of year – we urge everyone to take extra time and be extra cautious.

Seat Belt Use in 2022

Buckle up. Image shows three people smiling in a vehicle with seat belts.

Seat belts have been proven to be one of the best ways to save your life in a crash. Yet, many still don't buckle up. Worse still, not wearing a seat belt is a habit that will pass on to impressionable youth who, in turn, will think it is safe to not buckle up. In 2022, seat belt use in the United States ranged from 67 percent in the U.S. Virgin Islands to 96.5 percent in Oregon – the highest seat belt use rate in the U.S. Wearing a seat belt can reduce the risk of a fatal injury by 45 percent. Buckle up and stay safe.

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Wrong-Way Crashes

Retroreflective sign post

There were 507 wrong-way driving crash fatalities in the U.S. in 2020, the latest year for FHWA’s statistics. Wrong-Way Driving Solutions Handbook (NCHRP Research Report 1050) was released this past week to help provide solutions to this major safety issue. Human factors, such as inexperience, aging, and alcohol and drug use, can cause driver confusion and lead to wrong-way driving. Enforcement and education are key countermeasures. Red retroreflective strips on signs like the ones pictured is one of many possible strategies.

Updated Official Oregon State Map

Oregon state map cover

The new Oregon map includes updates to state highways, interchanges, and other roadways. Add a paper map to your vehicle safety kit for times when you may not have cell service. Maps are free and available at visitor centers, DMV offices, chambers of commerce, and other outlets. More information, including how to order maps, is available online from ODOT and from Travel Oregon. For organizations that order bulk maps, use this Travel Oregon website.


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