The 5 Habits of Highly Focused Drivers

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(COLO) – April is National Distracted Driving Month, and the Colorado State Patrol is asking for your attention behind the wheel. Troopers investigated 566 injury and fatal crashes caused by distracted driving in 2023 and issued 15,553 citations for improper, careless or reckless driving.

“When we conduct crash investigations caused by distracted drivers, often it is a small thing that steals the drivers’ focus from the most important thing at that moment - driving,” stated Col. Matthew C. Packard, chief of the Colorado State Patrol. “While many of our routes are repetitive, other drivers, pedestrians, animals and weather can require us to react quickly and precisely or adjust our speed.”

In 2023, troopers determined the human factor for 1,040 distracted driving crashes they investigated. They found that interior distractions (such as insects and non-food objects on the floor and within the vehicle, not including distractions by a passenger) topped the list. In fact, these distractions accounted for almost half (47.8%) of the crashes. Looking at all human factors for these 1,040 crashes:

1)  Distracted/Other Interior – 47.8% (498 crashes)

2)  Distracted/Other Exterior* – 30,8% (321 crashes)

3)  Distracted Eating/Drinking – 8.9% (93 crashes)

4)  Distracted/Other Occupant – 7.8% (82 crashes)

5)  Distracted/Manipulating Vehicle Control – 3.5% (37 crashes)

6)  Distracted Smoking – 8% (9 crashes)

The ability to safely multi-task behind the wheel is a myth. Multi-tasking occurs when your attention switches back and forth between tasks very quickly. Reacting to changing driving conditions, adjusting speed or staying within your designated driving lanes requires constant attention and focus.

Becoming a less distracted driver can be done by changing your mindset and habits every time you drive. The Colorado State Patrol recommends drivers start with the following 5 habits:

1)  Set your navigation, music, and car settings before leaving.

2)  Use “Do Not Disturb” mode on your phone and keep electronics deliberately out of reach.

3)  Make sure children and pets are correctly secured before driving.

4)  Make a rule to never eat or drink in the vehicle.

5)  If you are drowsy, pull off the road and take a quick nap or get re-energized.

driving with puppy in the car

*Distracted/Other Exterior (defined as): The driver was distracted by some other source located outside the vehicle (e.g., another crash, reading a billboard, road construction, etc.)


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.