April is National Distracted Driving Awareness Month.
To encourage all drivers to be aware and to drop the distraction, the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) and Colorado State Patrol (CSP) are joining forces in a national effort to bring attention to the threat distracted drivers pose.
When driving on Colorado roads, there is a good chance there’s a distracted driver, according to a survey by the Colorado Department of Transportation.
“The recent CDOT survey results highlight that while the distracted driving behaviors vary by gender or age, the distracted driving issue is not region specific and is truly a problem statewide,” said Darrell Lingk, Director of the CDOT’s Office of Transportation Safety.
CDOT said 22 percent of people surveyed admitted to reading a text message on their cellphone while driving.
Additionally, 64 percent had selected entertainment on a mobile device and 33 percent had talked on a hand-held phone.
New numbers show every day in Colorado an average of 40 crashes are caused by distracted drivers.
In 2015, there were 68 fatalities in distracted driving crashes, CDOT reports. Of the 57,298 distracted driving crashes in Colorado between 2012 and 2015, drivers ages 21 to 30 were involved in 30 percent of crashes.
The most common distraction in these crashes were cell phones followed closely by other passengers in the car, according to CDOT.
CDOT is asking drivers to send in tips on its Facebook page to create a conversation about how to prevent distracted driving.
“Coloradans are not paying attention to how dangerous distracted driving really is. CDOT plans to address this disconnect and our collective addiction to our phones this summer through our Drop the Distraction campaign,” said Lingk.
In 2016, CDOT introduced the Killer Habit distracted driving PSA as part of the Drop the Distraction campaign.
“We want to stress just how dangerous distracted driving is. Troopers are responding to more and more crashes caused by distracted drivers,” said Scott Hernandez, Chief of the Colorado State Patrol. “It’s our responsibility to cite reckless and distracted drivers year-round in order to keep Colorado roads safe.”
This summer, CDOT will launch a statewide, high-visibility awareness campaign aimed at decreasing distracted driving.