Distracted driving has become a major problem and issue gaining increased national attention lately. With the nearly universal popularity of smartphones giving us access to email, GPS, text messages and the worldwide web at our fingertips, the dangers of using this technology behind the wheel are common sense. When we take our eyes off the road to surf the web or send a text, we have no idea what's going on around us and cannot respond quickly to changing traffic conditions and unexpected hazards. Consequently, the number of car accidents and related injuries/deaths is on the rise. In fact, the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) has reported an increase in distracted driving collisions of over 16% in the past 3 years, alone. And, in a survey conducted by the CDOT, just over 25% of motorists surveyed stated that they use their smartphones while driving.
In an effort to curb the distracted driving epidemic, Colorado's legislature has made all use of cellphones by drivers under the age of 18 against the law. For drivers over the age of 18, talking on the cellphone is permitted but texting is illegal. These laws against cellphone use are primary, meaning a police officer can pull you over and issue you a ticket simply for observing you on your cellphone while driving. The fines associated with unlawfully using your cellphone while driving are $56 for the first offense, and $106 for a second offense.
And law enforcement is taking these laws seriously, particularly in the month of April. April is National Distracted Driving Awareness Month, and numerous Colorado organizations are supporting it. The CDOT has worked together with the Colorado Highway Patrol and local police agencies to increase the number of officers on Colorado roadways this month who are looking specifically for drivers distracted by using their cellphones.
The CDOT has also published and released various facts regarding distracted driving in an effort to educate motorists of the dangers associated with distracted driving. These tidbits include: the fact that 3,154 people were killed in 2015 as the result of distracted driving, 10% of drivers under the age of 20 were involved in a fatal car accident involving distracted driving in 2015, 424,000 people were moderately to severely injured due to distracted driving in 2015, on average 660,000 drivers use their cellphones while driving annually, the use of cellphones while driving increases the risk of accidents by over 3 times, using hands-free cellphone technology is not safer than hand-held cellphone use while driving, and 30% of drivers have admitted to engaging in extended text message conversations while driving.
Due to the dangers associated with distracted driving, the personal injury lawyers at the Law Office of Jeremy Rosenthal encourage all drivers to refrain from cellphone use when behind the wheel. Not only can texting and drive you cost you a fine, it may cost you or someone else their life.
Hire An Attorney
If you have been injured due to the actions of a distracted driver, you need a personal injury attorney to review your case and determine which parties may be at fault. The personal injury attorneys at the Law Office of Jeremy Rosenthal have decades of experience representing those injured in all sorts of auto accident and other personal injury cases. We will fight to get you the compensation you deserve. Call us today for a free consultation at (303) 825 – 2223 or visit us online.