Distracted Driving is on the Rise in Colorado
By Daniel E DAngelo Esq on May 1, 2016
2015 was not the best year for Colorado drivers. Deaths due to car crashes were up for the first time in several years. This puts Colorado off track for the goal of achieving zero roadway deaths. Of the total deaths last year, sixty-nine were caused by distracted driving. This is a serious reminder how a simple glance at a text message while driving can turn into a disaster in a flash.
The things that distract us while we’re behind the wheel seem to keep growing. Here are some behaviors behind the wheel that cause us to lose focus while driving:
- Music – adjusting stations, changing songs on your phone or MP3 player, or switching out CDs all distract us from our primary responsibility – driving the car.
- Eating or Reaching for Something – with the convenience of drive thru fast food options all over eating while driving is widely practiced and tolerated. However, if you really think about it, it is like driving with one hand tied behind your back. It can also be very messy.
- Passengers – conversation or dealing with a crying child can easily lead to driver distraction.
- CELL PHONES – everyone knows cell phones are a big problem but most don’t seem to truly understand the gravity of the choice to text or look at their phone while driving. It is unfortunately like most hazardous trends, most people think it won’t happen to them. Problem is, texting while driving can be as dangerous (or worse) than driving drunk.
Distracted driving is on the rise in Colorado and is a trend that can no longer be tolerated by our society.  Even local governments in Colorado are starting to take action.
Greeley recently passed a city ordinance that bans any and all distracted driving. What constitutes the offense is up to the discretion of police officers. The ordinance was passed because a woman reaching for a sandwich while driving swerved and killed a cyclist. It’s just unfortunate that such an event had to occur for people to start taking this matter more seriously.
However, it’s going to take a statewide effort to reverse the increased rate of injury caused on our roads due to distracted driving. Police are increasing enforcement efforts to crack down on distracted driving for things like texting, eating, or doing anything else that takes your focus off the road. Police around the Denver area were recently enforcing distracted driving rules en masse, a trend that is sure to continue.
If you’re not familiar with the rules against distracted driving, spend a few minutes reviewing the laws about distracted driving in Colorado. Cell phone usage violations in Colorado are a primary offense, meaning you can be pulled over on the spot if a police officer sees you texting and you’ll get a fine.
By committing to not drive distracted, you’ve got a chance to be part of the solution in Colorado. By not driving distracted you make the road safer for everyone. You decrease the chance you will cause a collision and it just may help you avoid another distracted driver. Remember that the choices you make while driving have very serious consequences. No one sets out to cause a car accident but there are choices we can all make while behind the wheel to help decrease the occurrence of car crashes and putting down the phone is an easy one. No conversation or text is more important than a human life.
If a distracted driver has hit you, we can help you. Give us a call today to set up a free consultation so we can assess your unique situation.