Making an Impact
July 2020 - Volume 7 - Issue 10

May 27th, 2020 by AAA

WASHINGTON (May 27, 2020) – Nationwide, more than 8,300 people died in crashes involving teen drivers from 2008 to 2018 during the “100 Deadliest Days,” the period between Memorial Day and Labor Day. That’s more than seven people a day each summer. The combination of schools closed, activities curtailed, summer jobs canceled, and COVID-19 restrictions being lifted, could prove deadly as teens take to the road this summer. AAA recommends that now is a good time for parents to both model safe driving behaviors and help ensure their teens practice them too.
“The last decade of crash data show shows that teens continue to be over-represented in crashes and summertime marks an increase of fatal crashes for this age group,” said Dr. David Yang, Executive Director of the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. “Our data analysis has found that for every mile driven, new teen drivers ages 16-17 years old are three times more likely to be involved in a deadly crash compared to adults.”

Due to their inexperience, teen drivers are at a higher risk of crashes. According to the new AAA Foundation Traffic Safety Culture Index, about 72% of teen drivers aged 16-18 admitted to having engaged in at least one of the following risky behaviors in the past 30 days:

  • Driving 10 mph over the speed limit on a residential street (47%)
  • Driving 15 mph over the speed limit on a freeway (40%)
  • Texting (35%)
  • Red-light running (32%)
  • Aggressive driving (31%)
  • Drowsy driving (25%)
  • Driving without a seatbelt (17%)

“Parents remain the best line of defense to keep everyone safe behind the wheel,” said Jennifer Ryan, AAA’s Director of State Relations. “It’s never too soon to educate teens on the dangers of distracted driving, speeding, and the impairing effects of alcohol and marijuana. But actions speak louder than words. Remember to model good behavior because your teen won’t take your advice seriously if you don’t follow it yourself.”
To keep roads safer this summer, AAA encourages parents to:

  • Talk with teens early and often about abstaining from dangerous behavior behind the wheel, such as speeding, impairment and distracted driving.
  • Teach by example, and minimize risky behavior when driving.
  • Establish a parent-teen driving agreement that sets family rules for teen drivers.
  • Conduct at least 50 hours of supervised practice driving with their teen.

To support parents in conducting practice driving sessions during COVID-19 and beyond, AAA is providing a free four-page guide to help parents coach their teens on how to drive safely. The “Coaching Your New Driver – An In-Car Guide for Parents”  AAA ParentCoachingGuide 2020  offers behind-the-wheel lesson plans, including a variety of “DOs and DON’Ts” to make the learning experience as helpful as possible. For parents, the guide can be beneficial as they coach their teens on a variety of routes, building on their formal behind-the-wheel training.  has a variety of tools to help prepare parents and teens for the dangerous summer driving season. The online AAA  StartSmart  Parent Session also offers excellent resources for parents on how to become effective in-car coaches as well as advice on how to manage their teen’s overall driving privileges. Teens preparing for the responsibility of driving should enroll in a driver education program that teaches how to avoid driver distraction and other safety skills.
As traffic increases, continue to mind your distance

For more information:  Kelly Kapri , Safety, 503-507-1783

SALEM – In Oregon, following too closely rates number six in the top ten driver errors, as of the last complete year of data (2017). Maintaining a safe following distance can prevent everything from fender benders to tragic fatal and serious injury crashes.

How do you know what’s safe? The speed at which you drive determines how much time you have to act or react and how long it takes to stop. The higher the speed you are traveling, the less time you have to spot hazards, judge the speed of other traffic, and react to conditions.

A safe following distance is defined as 2 to 4 seconds. For speeds greater than 30 mph, a safe following distance should be 4 seconds or more to allow you time to make a decision and take action.
Always maintain a safe following distance from the vehicle in front of you. You will have a better view of the road to watch for problems and more time to react.

How to determine if you are following too closely

Watch for when the rear of the vehicle ahead passes something like a sign or pole. Count the seconds it takes you to reach the same spot. You are following too closely if you pass the mark before you finish counting at least 2 to 4 seconds, depending on your speed. If so, increase the space between you and the vehicle ahead and count again at another spot to check your new following distance. Repeat until you are no closer than 2 to 4 seconds behind the other vehicle. When stopping behind a vehicle, make sure you can see where the rear tires of the vehicle in front meet the road. After traffic starts to move, return to your safe following distance.

You may need more space

There are situations, such as those listed below, when you need even more space between your vehicle and the one in front of you. In all of these situations, you should increase your following distance:

  • On wet or slippery roads. You need more distance to stop your vehicle.

  • When the driver behind you wants to pass. Slow down to allow room in front of your vehicle for the passing vehicle to complete the pass.

  • When following bicycles or motorcycles. You need extra room in case the rider loses control or stops suddenly.

  • When following drivers who cannot see you. The drivers of large vehicles may not be able to see you when you are directly behind them. These vehicles also block your view of the road ahead.

  • When you have a heavy load or are pulling a trailer. The extra weight increases your stopping distance.

  • When it is hard for you to see. In bad weather or darkness, increase your following distance to make up for decreased visibility.

  • When stopped on a hill. The vehicle ahead may roll back when it starts to move.

  • When you are learning to drive. The extra room provides you time to make critical decisions as you learn.

  • When approaching or in a work zone. Traffic may slow or stop unexpectedly in these areas.

To learn more, visit the statute:  ORS 811.147  Failure to maintain safe distance from motor vehicle.

Did you know that Driver's Education is still happening?

Learning how to drive is practically a rite of passage for teenagers. But becoming a good driver takes more than just learning the rules of the road. It means adopting safe driving habits, learning driver etiquette, understanding one’s vehicle, and how to anticipate situations that may turn dangerous.

And that's where Driver Ed can help. Whether you’re a teen or a parent of one, we’ve put together some great reasons to enroll in an  ODOT-approved  driver education course. Just click on one of the signs above. See you down the road!

Many places have moved this important education online. Please get your teen enrolled if they are ready the driving experience.

We are always here to help with traffic safety education. We currently have these three images on yard signs available. If you know anyone that would like to have them on display in their community please let us know. We will be glad to ship them to you free of charge.
Move Over applies to all vehicles on side of the road
showing lights or distress

For more information:  Kristin Twenge , Law Enforcement and Judicial Programs manager, 503-986-4446 

SALEM - Construction season is in full swing, and most everyone knows that when you see orange barrels, cones or signs, you’re coming up on a work zone and you need to slow down.
But not everyone knows about our  Move Over law . In Oregon, you must move over to a non-adjacent lane – or slow down by at least five miles under the speed limit – when approaching the rear of any vehicle stopped and displaying warning or hazard lights or otherwise indicating distress, not just emergency vehicles.

Maintenance crews, utility companies and other firms are often working alongside the road with warning or hazard lights on, and this would also signal that motorists need to move over.
The fine for this violation is $265 (or $525 if the location is within a safety corridor, school zone or work zone).

Takeaway: be alert, motorists – your job when you are behind the wheel is to drive safely. That means following the laws, and now you can say you know about, and follow, this one: always Move Over, if you can do so safely, or slow down 5 MPH below the posted speed.

Car Seat Check Up Events

Oregon Impact along with most car seat safety programs in the US, is no longer providing in person/live car seat safety checks for the foreseeable future.
We know that car seat safety is very important, as it should be, for many new parents. We want you to know are here to help.
We are currently making appointments for car seat education sessions, along with other local partners. Please contact us for more information at 503-899-2220 or via email at .