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Distracted drivers: A serious problem in Colorado

Distractions are common, but when you're driving a vehicle, you need to be focused on the road. Sadly, many people are not as focused as they should be, and the distractions that take their mind, hands and attention away from driving lead to serious crashes.

In 2018, there were 15,673 crashes that resulted from distracted drivers' inattention in Colorado. Those crashes led to 53 people's deaths. What's most interesting about these statistics is that people know that they should not be distracted. They know the risks, but they don't put away their devices or solely focus on the road.

In fact, the Colorado Department of Transportation reported that 33% of respondents of a survey stated that they had, within the week prior to the survey, sent texts, emails or social media messages while they should have been focusing on driving. There are plenty of kinds of distractions to consider on surveys like this, so in addition to those stating that they had used their emails or sent messages on social media, 48% also stated that they had read messages and 71% agreed that they had been distracted while trying to choose entertainment on one of their devices. Another 65% of people in the survey admitted to eating food behind the wheel.

What the survey really discovered is that the majority of drivers in Colorado use their cellphones or electronic devices while they should be focused only on driving. You should be aware that texting while driving was made illegal in Colorado, and minors cannot use phones when driving at all.

What should victims of distracted driving crashes know?

As a victim of a distracted driving crash, you may be interested in knowing what steps you can take next. Distracted driving is a serious offense, and you may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit against the driver who caused the accident.

After a crash, the most important thing to do is to get medical help to the scene. You or the others involved should call 911 and alert the authorities to the collision. If you can obtain proof that the other driver was distracted by a cellphone or other device, then this is good evidence to have when your attorney is negotiating your claim.

Remember, if you do need to use your devices, pull over. It may take longer to get where you want to go, but you'll have a higher chance of getting there safely.

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