By: Patrick Collins
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Three Examples of Distracted Driving Going on in Colorado
According to the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT), as many as 43 crashes a day can be attributed to distracted driving in Colorado. In 2018, there were 15,285 crashes and 59 deaths that involved distracted driving. Perhaps what is even more alarming is that 85 percent of Colorado drivers admit to distracted driving daily.
Distracted driving is the act of driving a motor vehicle while being mentally, visually, or physically engaged in something else. It takes the driver’s attention away from the road. While they might seem innocent enough, tasks such as texting, eating, reading, attending to children or pets inside the vehicle, talking to someone on the phone or in the car, or watching videos can result in severe collisions. Some forms of distracted driving are more prevalent among Colorado drivers than others.
Using a Smartphone
Everyone has a smartphone these days. We all lead busy lives and benefit from multitasking whenever we can. Considering this, it’s no wonder it’s so tempting to text or otherwise use a smartphone while behind the wheel. However, drivers must resist this temptation as distracted driving far too often results in severe injuries and even fatalities in Colorado.
Not only is distracted driving involving manual entry on cell phones against Colorado laws, but it’s also a primary offense. Law enforcement officers can stop any driver if they believe they are texting or otherwise manually using their phone while driving.
Taking advantage of different technologies such as hands-free options and voice commands for smartphones can help reduce the incidence and risks of distracted driving. Even still, they don’t entirely eliminate the distraction of the phone.
Whether venturing to a recreational spot in the state or finding the newest restaurant in town, Coloradoans like to explore. Many turn to navigational systems to help make exploring less of a hassle.
There’s no doubt that GPS systems can make navigation while driving easier. The downfall is that they can also remove a driver’s attention from the road. A Market Watch report released in February 2018 found that the single most distracting thing a driver can do while driving is programming a GPS device. Sending or receiving text messages and making calls came in second.
A 2017 AAA study determined that drivers programming GPS systems with voice commands and touch screens were distracted for about 40 seconds, compared to 30 seconds for talk-to-text. The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) recommends that if they are absolutely necessary, visual/manual car tasks should take a driver’s eyes off the road for 12 seconds or less.
Talking to Passengers
According to the American Council on Science and Health (ACSH), conversations with others inside your vehicle are typically just as distracting as talking on a cell phone behind the wheel. Both negatively impact reaction times, lane position, speed, safe following distance, and driver awareness. No matter how many or which of these factors are negatively impacted, the end result is more collisions.
As hard as it might be, keeping conversations to a minimum can help reduce the risks of crashes, injuries, and fatalities. Talking can be both a mental and visual distraction, keeping you from focusing on the road and keeping others safe. If drivers really need to have a conversation with a passenger, they should find a safe place to pull over first.
Negligence and Distracted Driving
Most traffic collisions arise from some form of driver negligence. Whether a driver was texting, programming their GPS, or talking to their spouse in the car when a crash occurred, their negligence likely contributed to the crash in some way. Sometimes their negligent actions are 100 percent to blame.
Negligence is the failure to act with the level of care that a reasonable individual would have exercised under the same circumstances. If a driver behaves in a way that creates or increases the risk of harm to others, they are negligent. Distracted driving is a prime example of driver negligence.
Were You Injured by a Distracted Driver in Colorado? Patrick Collins Can Help!
Distracted driving can lead to devastating injuries for innocent parties. Such injuries can become debilitating and result in insurmountable medical expenses. The good news is that you have legal recourse to recover compensation for your medical bills and other damages.
As a previously licensed Chiropractic Practitioner and an attorney, I have a unique perspective on injury crashes. I can ensure my clients get both the legal and medical help they deserve. I know first-hand what crash injuries can do to victims and what kind of monetary compensation they should need. I’m not afraid to use my medical knowledge to get my clients the recovery they are entitled to receive. If you were recently involved in a collision with a distracted driver, reach out today.