The Oregon Department of Transportation kicks of its fourth annual National Distracted Driving Awareness campaign this month with the warning that distracted driving has become an epidemic in Oregon. Every three hours someone in Oregon is injured by distracted driving.
A recent study conducted by Cambridge Mobile Telematics found that in nearly a quarter of crashes across the U.S., the driver was using a phone just before the crash occurred.
Other studies have show that many drivers will talk and text when they are alone in a vehicle, but think twice about it when they have a passenger. Yet nearly all drivers think it is dangerous to do so, passengers or not. People know that distracted driving is dangerous, but that knowledge does not always translate into practice.
ODOT, the Oregon State Police, and AAA Oregon/Idaho are emphasizing the importance of focusing on driving when you are behind the wheel.
"Our goal is to change cultural norms when it comes to distracted driving," said ODOT Director Matt Garrett. "If each of us focuses on the job of driving when we get behind the wheel, we'll save lives every year."