Distracted driving: Phone Use accounts for more than half of all crashes

Distracted driving: Phone Use accounts for more than half of all crashes

Tech Highlights:

  • The Defeat Distracted Driving Pledge is an effort for CDOT to get students, schools, business partners and drivers to take a stand against distracted driving. Warning: Street racing won’t be tolerated in Aurora. “This effort will keep the conversation going until all drivers understand that picking up the phone to send a text or make a call can be deadly behind the wheel,” Lingk said.

  • It’s no surprise that distracted driving is a serious problem that causes hundreds of serious crashes each year, but the number of crashes caused by phone use is increasing. According to the Colorado Department of Transportation, 205 of the 302 serious crashes in 2020 were caused by drivers who were using their phones prior to the incident. The remaining accidents are blamed on passenger distraction. “Distracted driving is more than an awareness month or a single campaign; it is a year-round safety issue on our roadways,” Darrel Lingk, Highway Safety Office director at CDOT, said.

CDOT put signs around the Denver metro area to remind drivers to stay focused. The pledge says drivers vow to never drive distracted behind the wheel. The place with the most individual pledges at the end of the month will receive a permanent distracted driving sign to put on their property.

“Despite what they may think, people don’t really have the ability to multitask when they drive,” Sam Cole, CDOT communications manager said. “By not fully focusing on driving, you are at a disadvantage when it comes to avoiding unexpected hazards on our roadways, such as a vehicle stopping suddenly or a child darting out in front of you.” More than 10,000 drivers were involved in distracted driving crashes in 2020, CDOT said. Fatalities increased by 74% from 2019 with 68 in the following year.

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