Hwy. 97 Named Second-Most Fatal Highway in Oregon

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) β€” State and federal reports say that U.S. Highway 97 is Oregon’s second most dangerous road. Two thousand twenty Fatality Analysis Reporting System data show that only Highway 101 along the coast has more Accidents.

The Oregon Department of Transportation’s Region 4 public information officer, Kacey Davey, said on Friday, 24 March 2023, “Driving while distracted and going too fast for the conditions are two things that cause many demises.”

Hwy. 97 Named Second-Most Fatal Highway in Oregon

“A lot of serious injuries happen when people leave the road or get into head-on collisions,” Davey said.

Richard Atkinson often drives from La Pine to Crescent on U.S. Route 97, and he agrees that it is dangerous.

β€œ(Highway) 97 is a dangerous road, especially between La Pine and Crescent,” Atkinson said. β€œThe drivers are not very good there, and they’re going way too fast and are driving recklessly.”

Davey said that traffic accidents that kill people are getting worse, and not just in Oregon.

β€œSadly, in Oregon, we’re seeing the same trend nationwide, and that is an increase in fatalities in vehicle crashes on highways,” she said.

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ODOT has several projects in the works to make Highway 97 roads safer.

β€œWe use engineering to combat these fatalities, and we use education and enforcement,” Davey said. β€œThose are really the three tools that we have to help us improve safety on highways.”

β€œit’s really important to take into account vehicle miles traveled,” she added. β€œRural highways, at high elevations with challenging geography and in severe weather, are going to have different kinds of crashes than you’re going to see on on interstates and the like through the Valley.”

In January, ODOT reported that there had been 575 accidents on Oregon roads in the past year.

KTVZ reported the rising number of fatal collisions around the country, including one of the deadliest stretches of highway in Oregon, Hwy. 97.

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