Cell Phone Accidents Seriously Injure Many Colorado Drivers Every Year
Distracted driving is dangerous. It claims the lives of thousands of motorists in the United States each year and injures thousands more. We see distracted driving cases all the time at Whalen Hersh.
The term “distracted driving” encompasses virtually any activity that diverts your attention away from the road when you are operating a motor vehicle. It can include texting, looking after children or pets, eating – even just listening to the radio. Studies consistently show that distracted driving is particularly common among young drivers, individuals who often engage in additional risky driving behaviors such as speeding and aggressive driving.
The now-ubiquitous smartphone has unquestionably made distracted driving far more common and far more dangerous. Automakers are compounding the problem of distracted driving by integrating features into their vehicles that are designed to work in tandem with our smartphone devices. The general consensus among researchers is that using a mobile phone while you’re driving significantly increases the likelihood that you will be involved in a serious accident. In addition, there is no conclusive evidence that “hands-free” mobile phone use behind the wheel is any safer than hand-held mobile phone usage. The cognitive demands of simply using a cell phone in any manner are enough to make you a distracted driver and thus more at risk of crashing.
Distracted Driving in Colorado
More than 90 percent of all motorists in Colorado admit to driving while distracted – an astounding statistic when you consider the life-threatening consequences of such easily preventable behavior. In 2019, there were more than 15,000 auto accidents in Colorado in which distracted driving played a role. These distracted driving accidents results in 4,361 injuries and 39 fatalities. Distracted driving is responsible for causing an average of 42 auto accidents in Colorado every day of the year.
The Colorado Department of Transportation has long recognized the inherent and growing dangers of distracted driving. To help combat the issue, CDOT has recently instituted a public awareness campaign called “Distracted Reactions,” a program that is designed to strengthen the social stigma of the various distracted driving behaviors that have, sadly, become second nature to countless Coloradans. Because distracted drivers simply do not recognize the dangerousness of their behavior until it’s too late, the CDOT campaign is an attempt to harness the power of adverse human reactions to show that distracted driving is a hazardous activity that puts both you and other at risk of serious injury – or worse. CDOT actively encourages Colorado residents to confront distracted drivers and encourage them change their behavior.
Colorado Cell Phone Laws While Driving
It used to be the case in Colorado that it was illegal for anyone under the age of 18 to use a mobile device while driving. That prohibition was subsequently broadened by the Increase Penalty for Texting While Driving Act, which was passed into law in 2017. It is now illegal in Colorado for anyone, regardless of age, to have a mobile phone in their hand while driving unless they are at complete stop. A motorist who is found to be using a mobile device by law enforcement can potentially face a fine of $300 and have four points added to their driver’s license, with fines and penalties increasing with additional infractions.
An exception to this general restriction is that a motorist is allowed to use a mobile device during an emergency, such as if they are in fear of their life or safety, or to report an accident.
Contact Whalen Hersh LLP
The above information is brought to you by the attorneys at Whalen Hersh, one of the premier personal injury law firms in Colorado and one that exclusively represents plaintiffs in a wide range of personal injury matters, including accidents caused by distracted driving. If you or loved one has been injured in a motor vehicle accident caused by the negligent, careless, or reckless actions of someone else, we encourage you to schedule a complimentary consultation by either calling Whalen Hersh at (720) 307-2666 or clicking here to submit our online message form.