(COLO) – No one starts their vehicle thinking that they are going to injure or kill someone today, yet Colorado State Troopers investigated 600 crashes across the state in 2022 where the at-fault driver was cited for being inattentive to driving.
Distracted driving can come in many forms such as texting, dealing with a fussy child, eating or fiddling with dashboard technology, but studies indicate that a person’s lack of focus may linger beyond the completion of one of these tasks.
“If your focus is on something else outside of the road in front of you, chances are you are not taking in all the potential cues and hazards on that road,” stated Col. Matthew Packard, chief of the Colorado State Patrol. "Inattention blindness is the failure to notice a visible hazard because your attention is focused elsewhere. We see this phenomenon frequently when a driver is cognitively distracted when driving.”
In fact, in 2022, when Colorado State Troopers were able to determine a human factor for an injury or fatal crash caused by distraction, the second largest human factor was “looked but did not see” or a person’s mind is elsewhere.
Driving while daydreaming is like driving with a blindfold on. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in five seconds a vehicle going 55 mph can travel the length of a football field. In these moments of cognitive distraction, drivers can miss road signs, pedestrians, curves or obstacles in the road and even emergency vehicles with activated lights.
This April for Distracted Driving Awareness Month, Colorado State Patrol will remind drivers to stay focused behind the wheel. There is no lane reserved for those who choose to drive in a distracted and hazardous manner. Listen for the Patrol’s radio PSAs during traffic reports and remember that other motorists are counting on you to make the task of driving your sole priority when you get behind the wheel.
Troopers continue to take a low tolerance approach to lane violations while launching a yearlong campaign called “Stay in Your Lane.” This campaign is designed to remind people to control their lane position based on their current
ABOUT THE COLORADO STATE PATROL
Since our origin in 1935, the Colorado State Patrol (CSP) has focused on preserving human life and protecting property within our communities. Our 1,100 members embody the core values of Honor, Duty, and Respect in their daily jobs. In addition to our expertise in motor vehicle safety on the state’s roadways, the CSP is responsible for the Governor and other dignitaries’ protection, commercial motor vehicle enforcement, hazardous materials, homeland security, communications, investigative services, criminal interdiction, community education, aviation operations, and more.