Oregon's Deadly Highways: What 11 deaths in last 4 days says about drivers in Oregon

An Oregon State Police trooper on Sunday checks the pulse of the driver of a silver Scion who allegedly caused a crash on Interstate 5 near Gold Hill, sending seven people, including four young girls, to area hospitals. The driver was southbound when he lost control of his vehicle, drove through the center median and smashed head-on into a vehicle traveling north, police said.

OREGON - More and more people are dying on Oregon's highways, with the number of fatal crashes now up nearly 20 percent from last year.

State Police are out patrolling, trying to get ahead of this trend. Just in the last four days, there have been 11 deaths on Oregon's highways.

State Police say that it's alarming, and that nearly every fatal crash comes down to the same five causes, which is what their trying to get ahead of.

One member of that "fatal five" group is speeding, and it doesn't take long for State Trooper Dylan Dover to find a speeder. Some of the others include impaired driving, distracted driving, occupant safety, like seat belts and car seats, and lane safety.

Dover issues upwards of 20 citations per day, most of which are related to the fatal five.

"He's driving a ginormous vehicles," said Dover. "It weighs a lot, if he can't keep it in his lane and he runs into somebody, it's going to cause a lot more damage than anything."

The citations are to prevent accidents, and in extreme cases, death. This year alone, fatal crashes are up 19 percent compared to the beginning of last year, with 11 casualties coming in the last 4 days.

"People are still doing the same thing in the same spot," said Dover. "Still speeding, still see people on their phones. People aren't learning I guess."

Dover says it's hard to say what it will take for people to learn from others mistakes, but the best thing they can do to stop these bad behaviors is by patrolling, and holding drivers accountable.

This way, every call and every ticket can be one step closer to ending Oregon's deadly trend.

Trooper Dover says that one of the biggest problems is secondary crashes, meaning that if there's a crash on the highway, other drivers are not obeying the "Move Over" law, and they end up accidentally hitting an emergency vehicle.

Dover also wants to remind people not to film a crash if you see one, noting that it is incredibly common, but also incredibly dangerous.

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