Distracted driving remains a top cause of fatal and injury crashes!

COLORADO – Distractions behind the wheel didn’t start with cell phones, and with every interruption comes an increase in risk for a preventable crash. Often viewed as a young-person problem, Colorado drivers admit distracted driving transcends generations.  85% of drivers in Colorado admit to driving distracted daily, and it is more than just cell phones causing the problems.  Eating, using the GPS, changing music, dealing with passengers, and pets all contribute to not giving 100% focus behind the wheel.

“Every driver has a role in making Colorado roadways safer,” says Colonel Matthew Packard, Chief of the Colorado State Patrol.  “Our troopers and local enforcement partners cannot be everywhere at once, so make the smart decision to save a life, possibly your own.  When it comes to distractions: drop it and drive.”

Distracted driving regularly falls into one of the top three causal factors for injury and fatal crashes along with speeding and driving under the influence.  Even without injury, a distracted driving crash can have serious consequences, including citations, damaged property, and higher insurance premiums that can last for years.

The Colorado Department of Transportation estimates that 42 crashes happen on Colorado roadways every day due to distracted driving. Fortunately, the solutions can be relatively simple, if the driver makes the decision to drive distraction-free. Most mobile devices have “do not disturb while driving” settings that will send calls to voicemail or auto-respond to incoming text messages.  If you have a passenger, let them control the music or GPS, or preprogram those items before putting the vehicle in motion.

And passengers should feel obligated to speak up if their driver is distracted behind the wheel; after all, their safety is at risk, too. Drop It and Drive!

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