Every day in Colorado, distracted drivers are involved in an average of 43 crashes — many leading to serious injury or death. April is National Distracted Driving Awareness Month, and the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) is leading the statewide charge to address this issue, which accounts for nearly 13 percent of all crashes on Colorado roads.
In 2018, 53 fatalities and 6,269 injuries were attributed to 15,673 crashes involving distracted drivers in Colorado, according to preliminary data from CDOT. Despite the serious consequences, more than 90 percent of people reported driving distracted in the previous seven days, according to a recent survey of Colorado drivers conducted by CDOT. In fact, in Colorado alone, there are an average of 2,380 intersection-related crashes and more than 9,000 rear-end crashes every year associated with distracted driving.
“Driving is a significant responsibility and demands our full concentration” said CDOT Director Shoshana Lew. “When you fail to pay attention behind the wheel, you put yourself and other travelers at serious risk — our data show that 43 crashes per day in Colorado involve distracted driving.”
Launching this week in conjunction with National Distracted Driving Awareness Month, CDOT’s Get Turned On campaign urges drivers with iPhones to turn on “Do Not Disturb While Driving” mode to prevent incoming distractions. Once enabled, the feature works by blocking incoming text messages and other notifications when connected to a car’s Bluetooth or when the phone detects the vehicle is in motion. Drivers without Bluetooth can also manually turn on “Do Not Disturb While Driving” mode. Android phones offer a similar function, and there are also other third-party apps designed to achieve the same goal regardless of the type of phone a person uses.
“Do Not Disturb While Driving is a simple tool to help drivers turn off distractions and take back their focus,” said Darrell Lingk, director of CDOT’s Office of Transportation Safety. “It helps eliminate the temptation of quickly checking a text message or alert – a seemingly harmless habit but one that can have serious consequences.”
For more information visit www.distracted.codot.gov.
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