Nearly 75% admit having done it... and 98% know that it’s dangerous.
So why does distracted driving still keep happening?
The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) has determined that 22% of people have read a text message while driving a vehicle. Furthermore, 33% have talked on a phone while driving. Do you know how long it takes a focused driver going 55 miles per hour to come to a complete stop?
If there were an obstacle in front of your car – a median, a roadblock, a person, a child holding an ice cream cone – would you stop in time?
Would you bet on it?
There is currently “an epidemic” of distracted driving accidents in Colorado. At least 605 died because of it in 2016, which included an all-time high of 125 motorcyclists, 84 pedestrians and 16 bicyclists. This is an 11-percent increase from 2015, during which 547 people died on Colorado’s roads.
Studies completed in Texas discovered that almost 10% of drivers are using their phone right at this moment. While driving. Additionally, 25% of car crashes involves a distracted driver. Transportation researcher Christine Yager attempted to see if voice-to-text software was safer than those who tried to text while stopped at a red light. This was what she discovered:
Also, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has linked talking on a cellphone while driving to a fourfold increase in the chance of a crash.
It’s probably a good thing that 84% of respondents supports statutory regulations that would prohibit using a cell phone while driving. A new bill has been introduced that would bump up punishment to $500 from $50 for first-time offenders caught driving while distracted.
As it stands now, drivers younger than 18 are not allowed to use phones while driving – even hands-free types. Exceptions include reporting emergencies, injuries, road hazards, or a person driving in an unsafe or reckless manner.
Drivers aren’t allowed to drive while texting, except during emergencies. A police officer only has to see them texting in order to pull them over because this is a “primary” law in Colorado, as opposed to a state like Florida where it is a “secondary” offense – meaning that the driver has to be committing a more serious crime as well as texting.
Meanwhile, in Colorado there is no cell phone prohibition for bus drivers – which seems a bit counterintuitive.
Fines for texting while driving are:
Distracted driving is generally defined as the following:
Anything that takes your hands off the wheel and your eyes off the road is distracted driving.
“It may seem like a harmless glance at your phone, but a AAA study indicates that the cognitive distraction from using your phone can last as long as 27 seconds after finishing a distraction task – incredibly too long while driving,” said Darrell Lingk, director of the CDOT’s Office of Transportation Safety.
People have become desensitized to the dangers associated with driving. We respect other vehicles, but cars are every day and common. Even though cars are gigantic metal monsters that can turn on you in an instant, drivers feel in control – enough to eat, groom or even read while behind the wheel.
Perhaps it has something to do with today’s culture and this “FOMO,” or “fear of missing out” – nobody wants to be the last one to know what’s happening. Everyone has to know everything going at every minute of the day. Others think their bosses will get upset if they aren’t immediately available. Many individuals are anxious if they don’t answer a text or call right away. For some, it’s even a dopamine release if the message is pleasant.
But what is the result? Car crashes. Injuries. Sometimes even death. This can mean teenagers – teenagers who were just texting, something so small and inconsequential – being responsible for the death of someone else, and they will have to carry that burden for the rest of their lives.
Distracted driving can cause a variety of different injuries:
If you get hit by a distracted driver, don’t panic. First make sure that everyone is physically sound. Then:
Either way, it makes most sense to speak to Colorado attorneys who have dealt with these matters before. Try the Enjuris law firm directory in Colorado, to find an attorney who is knowledgeable in both traffic statutes and motor vehicle law!