15,143 traffic accidents in Colorado were caused by distracted driving in 2019.

New Technology in Vehicles One Cause of Distraction Behind the Wheel

Colorado can be fraught with road hazards — bad weather conditions, wildlife in the roadway, and dangerous drop-offs on winding mountain roads — but distracted driving remains a leading cause of Colorado auto accidents.

In a recent study conducted by the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT), 92 percent of those surveyed admitted to driving while distracted during the past week. According to a recent statement released by CDOT, 15,143 traffic accidents in the state were caused by distracted driving in 2019. These crashes resulted in 4,361 injuries and 28 deaths. This month, CDOT is partnering with the National Safety Council to raise awareness regarding the dangers of driving while distracted.

Darrell Lingk, CDOT director of the office of traffic safety, said this about the problem:

“Distracted driving continues to be a prevalent issue on Colorado roads, but is easy to fix. Every time you are tempted to reach for your phone or take your eyes off the road, stop and think about the lives at risk and make a safer decision.”

What is distracted driving?

Distracted driving can involve anything that takes a driver’s attention away from operating a motor vehicle. According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA), common driver distractions include:

  • Eating or drinking
  • Texting or emailing on a smartphone
  • Talking on a hands-free cell phone
  • Posting on social media
  • Using a navigation system
  • Adjusting the radio
  • Applying makeup.

According to the National Safety Council (NSC), cell phones are the top distraction for drivers, prompting 48 states as well as Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Virgin Islands to outlaw texting while driving. The NHTSA has found that since 2007, more drivers between the ages of 16 and 24 have been distracted by devices than drivers in any other age group.

New technology in vehicles also causes distraction behind the wheel. According to the NSC, 53 percent of drivers believe that if manufacturers install infotainment dashboards and hands-free, multitasking technology in vehicles, that means it is safe to use. However, evidence suggests that these technologies distract us long after we’ve finished using them, and the human brain is not designed to drive and carry on a cell phone conversation at the same time.

Prevent Colorado Auto Accidents Caused by Distraction

People who drive while distracted put everyone on the road at risk. Here are some ways to stay more focused on the road:

  • Put your phone in “Do Not Disturb” mode before driving.
  • Assign a passenger to be your “designated texter” while you are behind the wheel.
  • Plan stops along your route where you can pull over to eat, drink, and check for cell phone messages.
  • Set your radio and GPS before you start your vehicle so that you won’t be tempted to make changes while driving.
  • Use your driving time to enjoy your surroundings instead of habitually glancing at your phone.

Contact an Experienced Colorado Personal Injury Attorney

Did you suffer injuries in an automobile accident caused by a distracted driver? Contact Dan Rosen at (303) 454-8000 or (800) ROSEN-911 to schedule your free initial consultation with a seasoned personal injury lawyer.

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