According to the Colorado Department of Transportation, there were 15,574 crashes caused by distracted driving. Of those, there were 68 deaths. These numbers reveal an uptrend, signaling a growing problem in the state. It is an issue that spans across all age groups, although those between the ages 21 and 34 account for about 37.4% of these type of accidents. When we think of distracted driving, we often think of the prevalent use of smartphones and our inability to unplug, but distracted driving actually involves any activity you engage in that removes your attention from the road. In fact, of the 68 fatal crashes, only 17 involved the use of cell phones.
Although cell phones have certainly added another facet to what it means to drive while distracted, other distractions rank higher. It is likely that you have flipped through radio stations while driving, had a conversation with your passenger, used a navigation system, groomed yourself, or even tried to eat while trying to steadily hold the wheel. Any one of these serves as an example of distracted driving, as defined by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
According to the Center for Disease Control, 31% of drivers in the country between the ages of 18 and 64 revealed that they have read or sent texts or emails while driving. Colorado prohibits individuals under the age of 18 from using cell phones while driving, with the exception of emergencies, such as fires or reporting a reckless or unsafe driver. Drivers of all ages are prohibited from texting, but drivers over the age of 18 are permitted to use cell phones for voice calls. Bus drivers have no cell phone prohibitions.
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