Survey: Nearly a quarter of Coloradans read texts, emails and social media posts while driving

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STATEWIDE —  Almost a quarter of Coloradans admit to reading a text, email or social media post on their phones while driving, according to a new statewide driver survey by the Colorado Department of Transportation.

The information was compiled from 845 surveys mailed to Colorado residents in November 2016 by CDOT.

The survey assesses Colorado residents’ attitudes and behaviors related to seat belt use, speeding, distracted driving and alcohol, marijuana and prescription medication use.

Here are several highlights:


  • The number of people who drive over the speed limit is increasing – 69 percent of respondents admit to speeding in the 2016 survey, up from 65 percent in 2014.
  • 45 percent of Coloradans said they sped some of the time and 24 percent sped all or most of the time.

Seat Belts

  • Coloradans whose primary vehicle was a pickup truck were most likely to say they never wear seat belts – a large majority wear them on highways (91 percent) and fewer wear them on local roads (73 percent).
  • Regarding enforcement of the seat belt law, 65 percent of respondents say that non-seat belt use should be a primary violation.
  • Most people who did not buckle up thought a reminder, such as a buzzer, would help them remember to buckle up.

Distracted Driving

  • 22 percent said they had read a message on a device and 15 percent wrote a message on a device while driving at least sometimes in the week before the survey.
  • 62 percent reported at least sometimes selecting entertainment on an iPod, CD player, radio or other device while driving in the week prior to the survey.

Impaired Driving

  • 38 percent of respondents who drank alcoholic beverages drove a motor vehicle within two hours of drinking.
  • 57 percent of those who used marijuana drove a motor vehicle within two hours after consuming marijuana.
  • On average, those who drove after drinking did so on 2.8 of 30 days.
  • On average, those who drove after consuming marijuana did so on 11.7 of 30 days.
  • 73 percent would feel comfortable driving after having one or two drinks in a two-hour period.

In 2016, there were 607 fatalities on Colorado roadways, which is up 24 percent in the last two years, CDOT officials say.

The survey also found seat belt use decreased from 85 to 84 percent last year statewide — well below the national average of 90 percent.

Additionally, alcohol related-fatalities contributed to nearly one-third of the state’s traffic fatality total.

>> Click here to see the full survey results.


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