Over 15,000 Colorado Crashes Involved Distracted Drivers

Distracted driving. Photo courtesy of Pexels.com

The Colorado Department of Transportation has discovered 15,143 crashes on state roads involved distracted drivers in 2019 resulting in 4,361 injuries and 28 fatalities.

The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) 2020 behavior survey states that 92% of respondents reported driving distracted over the past seven days. Additionally, CDOT is encouraging people headed to the road for fall and winter activities to ignore distractions and focus on the roads.

“Distracted driving continues to be a prevalent issue on Colorado roads, but is easy to fix,” said Darrell Lingk, CDOT Director of the Office of Transportation Safety. “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,” Darell said.

The annual Distracted Driving Awareness Month led by the National Saftey Council (NSC) was rescheduled from April to October this year as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Eating and drinking, picking entertainment on a device, talking on a hands-free cell phone, and reading or sending messages on a cell phone are among the most common distractions for drivers.

“Colorado drivers continue to engage in distracting activities while driving,” said Darell. “With fall in full swing and winter sports and holidays on the horizon, we encourage people to stay focused on the road and put distractions aside,” Darell said.

CDOT has partnered with NSC to raise awareness this month on critical nationwide issues.

Tips to help stay focused on the road as suggested by CDOT are as follows:

  • Turn your phone to “Do Not Disturb” mode before you start moving to minimize distractions.
  • If you have a passenger, assign them to be your “designated texter” to respond to calls or messages while on the move.
  • Plan stops along your route to pull over and park your car to safely enjoy a snack, stay hydrated, and check your cell phone notifications.
  • Select your entertainment settings and GPS options before you start your car so you don’t have to worry about making changes while in motion.
  • Enjoy a break from multitasking and use your drive time to enjoy Colorado’s natural beauty.

For more information about distracted driving in Colorado, visit: distraction.codot.gov