Nearly 13 percent of all Colorado car accidents are the result of distractions such as multitasking.

There are 43 auto accidents a day in Colorado due to distracted driving.

Social distancing, self-quarantine, and lockdown are the new normal as millions of Americans suddenly find themselves working and schooling children from home. Ability to multitask may help make all the small tasks involved manageable.

But don’t try it in your car. Every day, failure to focus on driving safely causes auto accidents in Colorado and nationwide as well as needless deaths on our roads.

We can’t even multitask — not really.

The Dana Foundation disputes the assumption that people can effectively perform two or more tasks simultaneously. We are not adept at focusing 100 percent on two things at once. Instead we rotate the object of focus, or perhaps we focus primarily on one task while doing another in a more absentminded way.

That’s not a practice we should follow when driving. In January the Zebra, which compares insurance rates, surveyed 2,000 Americans about driving behavior and attitudes. Nearly 38 percent of respondents said that their cell phone was a distraction while driving. More than 28 percent say they text and drive. Some even admitted to video-chatting and taking photos or videos while driving.

Drivers under twenty are more likely to let themselves be distracted while driving. That’s one reason why the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) notes that the number one killer of teenagers is accidents, and that is reflected in traffic fatality reports. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, 2,476 teenagers from 13 to 19 years old died in traffic accidents in 2018.

Ways to Distractedly Drive

“It never ceases to amaze us what people do in their cars,” Colorado State Trooper Blake White recently told the American Automobile Association. “Just today, I watched a woman in my rearview mirror putting on makeup with one hand, while she held a bottle with the other. She was looking in her visor mirror, which was blocking her view.” White has even stopped Colorado drivers for watching Netflix while going on down the road.

The CDC estimates that every day, nine people are killed and more than 1,000 people are injured in traffic accidents in which a distracted driver is implicated. There are three main kinds of distractions:

  • Preoccupied with other things, a driver neglects to focus on the road and the surrounding environment.
  • A driver looks at other things, including electronics, instead of the road ahead.
  • A driver takes his hands off the steering wheel to do other things, like eating or grabbing something from a purse.

Texting while driving is especially deadly insofar as it entails all three kinds of distraction simultaneously. The driver’s mind, eyes, and hands aren’t where they should be.

April is National Distracted Driving Awareness Month, and here in Colorado, officials continue to stress the importance of staying focused on driving while you are driving. There are 43 traffic accidents a day in the state due to distracted driving — nearly 13 percent of all traffic accidents.

If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident caused by a distracted driver, contact personal injury attorney Dan Rosen at (303) 454-8000 or (800) ROSEN-911 to schedule your free initial consultation to discuss the details of your case.

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