Drive to Zero

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Drive to Zero focuses on reducing injuries and fatalities on our roadways. Our goal is to reduce fatal and serious injury crashes to zero by 2035. Based on recent data, this could save 32 lives and prevent 250 serious injuries every year in Clackamas County.

There are two main ways we work to decrease fatal crashes – through building a safe driving in culture in the county through education and marketing, and by building safe roads.

Top 4 Tips for Safer Streets

More than 90% of crashes include human behavior as a contributing factor. Distracted driving, young drivers and leaving the roadway are the top 3 contributing factors in fatal crashes in Clackamas County and each can be prevented with steps such as being attentive, providing young drivers with parental supervision and slowing down.

1. Drive Calmly

Approximately 47% of all fatal and serious injury crashes – and more than 57% of all crashes – are caused from aggressive drivers. This includes driving too fast for conditions, following too closely and driving in excess of posted speed.

  • Give yourself a longer stopping distance.
  • Avoid speeding.
  • Be patient with other drivers.

2. Avoid distracted driving

Distracted driving is anytime you take your eyes, hands or mind off the road ahead. This can include being on your phone, eating/drinking, talking to passengers, reading maps or playing with music.

  • Leave our phone in the back seat to avoid being tempted to check texts and notifications.
  • Pull over if you have to make or take a phone call
  • Assign a designated texter before starting the car.
  • Know the route before you go so you don’t need to look at your phone or navigation for maps.

3. Make safe driving a priority for new drivers

Drivers age 15 to 25 are a vulnerable motorist group because of limited experience handling the tasks of operating a vehicle and applying newly-acquired driving skills, especially with the number of in-vehicle distractions (e.g., radio, GPS, cell phones, passengers).

This age group is involved in more than 40% of all fatal and serious injury crashes on roads in Clackamas County

4. Drive sober

We all deserve to be safe when we travel around the county. More than one in every five serious crash in the county involved a driver under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Additionally, fatigue, stress and medications can lead to an impaired state that increases the risk of a crash.

Steps you can take to ensure you, your passengers and other travelers are safe include:

  • Drive sober and alert.
  • Plan your ride home or assign a designated driver before you begin drinking or using cannabis.
  • Prevent others from diving when they are intoxicated.
  • Know the effects of any medication you’re taking, prescription or over-the-counter.

Bring Safe Driving Education Resources to You

Already understand the importance of safe driving and want to inspire those in your community? We have a number of education resources and tools to help get the word out.

In schools

  • Kevin Brooks, a leading youth speaker on suicide prevention, overcoming obstacles and impaired driving, is available to speak to high school assemblies.
  • Mixed media presentations using Fatal Vision Goggles that simulate impaired driving and demonstrate the risk of driving while intoxicated. These 30- to 90-minute presentations are perfect for health and related classes and focus on providing information on distracted driving, traffic safety and avoiding injuries.

In the Community

Yellow sign saying "Please Slow Down!"

  • Our transportation safety booth provides education related to traffic safety and we distribute traffic safety-related items such as safety reflectors. In addition, Safety Street provides children with the opportunity to practice being safe in cars with crossing signs, speed limits and traffic to pay attention to while driving.
  • Safety Street provides children with the opportunity to practice being safe in cars with crossing signs, speed limits and traffic to pay attention to while driving. Our Safety Street Trailer contains the cars, street signs and comic books for distribution.
  • Designed to start conversations with young drivers our Mobile Educational Crash Car Trailer contains a car from a fatality crash involving driving under the influence of cannabis. For most of us, we will never see a car that has been in a terrible crash. In this case you can see close up the devastation that an impaired driver can cause. This stand-alone exhibit has been used by parents to initiate talking with their children about the dangers of impaired and distracted driving.
  • Invite us to your neighborhood meeting: Request a presentation from our traffic safety team at your neighborhood organization, event, fair or school. Learn about strategies that residents can take in partnership with the County to encourage safe, calm driving and discourage behaviors that cause serious crashes. 
  • Grab a yard sign: Join the Drive to Zero efforts to slow speeds down on our county’s roads by placing a road sign in your front yard. Every household in Clackamas County is eligible to pick up one yard sign from the main offices of the Department of Transportation and Development at 150 Beavercreek Road. Come up to the third floor and ask at the front desk.

For more information on any of these opportunities, email rsadowsky@clackamas.us.

Get involved as Community Advisors

Take the safe driver pledge! We are all in this together. One crash prevented can save lives.

Answering your Driving Safety questions: Frequently Asked Questions