Distracted driving is increasing in Colorado, with accident rates raising 16% over the last four years. There were an estimated 13,236 distracted driving accidents in 2012. That number has steadily increased- from 14,002 in 2013 to 14,753 in 2014 and reaching an estimated 15,307 crashes in 2015.
In the wake of this trend, the Colorado State Patrol (CSP) and Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) have declared distracted driving a serious threat to the safety of the residents of the state. To help combat this traffic safety danger, the two agencies have joined a nationwide campaign that recognizes April as National Distracted Driving Awareness Month.
Darrell Lingk, Director of the CDOT’s Office of Transportation Safety, reports that a recent survey conducted by the CDOT illustrates how severe the problem is becoming. In the survey, one-quarter of Colorado drivers self-reported using their cell phones for texting, 38 percent said they had talked on a hand-held cell phone, 41 percent of drivers said they had eaten while driving sometime during the past week, and 63 percent admitted to using entertainment devices behind the wheel. Lingk pledged his agency’s dedication to confronting the threat of distracted driving with the CDOT’s summer awareness campaign entitled “Drop the Distraction.”
An evaluation of Colorado’s distracted driving accidents shows some interesting patterns. Of the approximately 57,298 distracted driving accidents that occurred in Colorado between 2012 and 2015, drivers 21-30 years of age were involved in 30 percent. At 18 percent, the second largest group involved in distracted driving accidents were drivers ages 31-40 years old. In those crashes, the most frequently cited distraction was a cell phone, and by a close second, were other passengers in the vehicle. Over half of Colorado’s distracted driving accidents happened in Adams, Arapahoe, Denver, and Johnson counties.
Chief Scott Hernandez of the Colorado State Patrol acknowledges that although distracted driving is a relatively new traffic safety epidemic, it is just as much of a threat as drunk driving and non-use of seat belts. Furthermore, he believes that through education and enforcement, accidents can be avoided and lives can be saved just as they have been with drunk driving laws and mandatory seat belt use laws.
With their “Drop the Distraction” campaign, the CDOT hopes to educate the public about the dangers of distracted driving. The high visibility, statewide awareness campaign will strive to decrease the rate of distracted drivers.
The number of drivers on the road who are multi-tasking at any given moment of the day is staggering. Drivers often eat, drink, text, surf the Internet, talk, and even send emails while driving. These distractions can be deadly and result in numerous accidents and injuries each and every year. In order to stay safe and avoid serious and catastrophic accidents, all drivers are encouraged to put their phones down. No matter what – it can wait. Turn notifications off or even consider putting your phone in airplane mode before you begin driving. This will ensure that you are not distracted by incoming beeps or alarms. The more you focus on driving, the better your chances are at avoiding an accident.
Unfortunately, even when you drive safely, other drivers do not. If you or someone you love is injured in an accident and you believe that distracted driving was to blame, it is important to contact an experienced Longmont accident attorney immediately. Your attorney may be able to have the cellphone records used to show evidence to distracted driving. In addition, your attorney will need to collect eye witness statements, review police reports, and gather evidence to help support your claim.
Distracted driving accidents in Longmont are often catastrophic. As such, you need an experienced and skilled Longmont distracted driver accident lawyer on your side from the start. Contact the Longmont injury law firm of Fuicelli & Lee, PC, for a free case evaluation. You pay nothing unless you receive a financial settlement or award. Call our office at 303-355-7202 or fill out our confidential contact form.
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