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Distracted Driving on the Rise in the State of Colorado

One of the fallacies of the term distracted driving is that it only pertains to drivers using their cellphone. While cellphone use is a major problem and though it constitutes a large number of distracted driving accidents, there are plenty of other ways that a driver can be distracted. A driver may be changing the radio station; a driver may be talking to someone in the backseat or lost in thought; and a driver could be eating food or reaching for something in the glove compartment.

Of course, having said all of that, today we are going to focus on cellphone use while driving. Given how prevalent cellphones are in society now and how easy it is for drivers to have their attention absorbed by these devices, it is the prominent issue when "distracted driving" is mentioned.

According to a survey by the Colorado Department of Transportation, one in four drivers in the state admitted to reading a text message while driving in 2015. In addition, the CDOT noted that 15,307 motor vehicle accidents occurred in the state that involved distracted driving, which marks a 16 percent increase over the last four years. What's worse is that fatalities in distracted driving accidents increased too, up to 69 in 2015. In 2014, there were only 59 fatalities in distracted driving accidents.

Distracted driving is a huge problem, and it's only getting worse. Cellphones aren't going away, and our attention will always be strained between screens and the road going forward. For those who are unable to remain disciplined, they will be held liable if they are involved in an accident.

Source: Littleton Independent, "Keeping eyes, and minds, on the road," Tom Skelley, April 18, 2016

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