Cell phones are incredible pieces of engineering. Of course, you can make a call, but you can also snap a photo, get directions to where you’re going, listen to music and even send a text message while you’re driving. All of these are distractions though. Texting while driving might be the most dangerous distraction that a driver can participate in. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, distracted driving consists of participating in any activity that diverts a driver’s attention from the roadway. At 55 mph, it compares texting while driving to traveling the length of a football field while blindfolded. In the context of texting while driving, there are three types of dangerous distractions that are involved. Those follow:
- Visual when the driver takes their eyes off of the road.
- Manual when the driver takes their hands off of the steering wheel.
- Cognitive when the driver takes his or her mind off of what they’re doing.
Distracted Driving Injuries and Fatalities
The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration reports that in 2018, 8% of all fatal traffic crashes and 15% of all injury crashes were caused by distracted driving. That translates into nearly 3,000 people killed and an estimated 400,000 injured by distracted drivers.
Colorado’s Cell Phone Law
As per the legality of talking or texting on a cell phone when driving, an experienced Denver car accident lawyer will advise that drivers under the age of 18 are prohibited from using a cell phone in any manner while driving. For drivers over 18, they’re allowed to use a handheld phone for calls, but they’re prohibited from any form of manual data entry which includes texting.
Preventing Distracted Driving Accidents
There are no excuses for distracted driving accidents. They’re perfectly preventable, especially when texting while driving comes to issue. You can’t control whatever other drivers around you are doing, but if you’re going to have a cell phone with you while driving, turn it off or set it on silent until you get to where you’re going. If you have a passenger with you, maybe he or she can attend to your messaging while you’re driving.
Governmental entities, non-governmental organizations, safety institutes, and schools are all in agreement that texting while driving is downright dangerous. In fact, it’s so dangerous that it could be deadly. A driver who is texting and driving is far less likely to stay in the proper lane than a driver who isn’t distracted. They’re also significantly slower to recognize and respond to any traffic changes around or ahead of them. The statistics are simply overwhelming. Distracted drivers and everybody around them are at substantial risk. Do something with that phone when you’re behind the wheel.