While it might not seem like a big deal to send that text or take a couple bites of your sandwich while you're driving, distracted driving can be dangerous and even deadly. It's not worth the risk, wait until you safely reach your destination to focus on anything other than driving.
Distracted driving has become a major public safety concern in Colorado and across the US. With the ever-increasing use of devices and other distractions behind the wheel, the risk of accidents and fatalities has significantly risen. As April is marked by Distracted Driving Awareness Month, the Colorado State Patrol aims to remind drivers that being distracted behind the wheel is never safe and should be top-of-mind each time they get behind the wheel.
Examples of distracted driving:
- Using a cell phone or device. Talking, texting or checking social media takes your attention away from the road, even while you’re stopped.
- Eating or drinking while driving means your hands aren’t on the wheel and your eyes aren’t on the road.
- Adjusting the radio or GPS should be done while you’re safely stopped, not in motion.
- Grooming. Applying your makeup or fixing your hair is dangerous.
- Talking to passengers. Engaging in conversations with your riders can cause you to lose focus on the road and your surroundings.
Distracted driving leads to more than 15,000 crashes every year in Colorado – an average of 42 crashes per day. In 2022 alone, Colorado State Patrol Troopers investigated 600 injury and fatal crashes attributed to distracted driving.
As troopers looked at the most apparent human cause of the 600 crashes caused by inattentive driving in 2022, the top three causes were:
1) Interior distraction (e.g. phones, dashboard navigation, food, etc.)
2) Looked but did not see (e.g. daydreaming)
3) Driver inexperience
While distracted driving is a concern across every Colorado community the top counties for serious injury and fatal crashes caused by driver distraction in 2022 were:
5) El Paso
Regroup and take responsibility for the choices you make when you’re on the road. If your phone is a temptation, put it out of reach before you start the car. Eat before you drive. And, focus on the most important task at hand at that moment - driving.