That’s the number of people who died in traffic crashes in Deschutes County in 2020.
It’s the most traffic fatalities in Deschutes County in at least the last 5 years. And it happened in a pandemic year when many people were driving less.
What could be done so we don’t have another year like that?
Officials from across the county will be gathering on Sept. 30 to discuss it at the Central Oregon Safe Travel Summit. The summit is going to be online. You can also participate. There’s more information here: tinyurl.com/Deschutessafety.
Don’t have time for that? You can also give input by completing the survey here: tinyurl.com/Deschutessurvey.
Some of the numbers get worse if you look a little deeper. For instance, in the Bend area from 2007-16, the crash rate — the number of crashes per vehicle miles traveled — had been increasing. That only reflects data from 2007-16, the most recent we could find. So that overall trend may not have continued, but it’s worrisome nonetheless.
The contributing factors to the crashes are pretty much what the contributing factors are anywhere: excessive speed, drug use, weather conditions.
The answers to reducing fatalities aren’t going to be any mystery. Drive slower. Buckle up. Don’t use drugs or alcohol and drive. Don’t touch your phone.
We all know that. We all don’t always do it.