CDOT wants to hear your stories on the impacts of distracted driving

AP photo

STATEWIDE — 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.

“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.

According to a recent survey of Colorado drivers, cell phone use behind the wheel is an ongoing threat, with 22 percent of respondents admitting to reading a message while driving.

Additionally, 64 percent had selected entertainment on a mobile device and 33 percent had talked on a hand-held phone.

“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.”

Throughout April, CDOT is asking you to submit your distracted driving prevention videos to be shared publicly on CDOT’s Facebook page.

CDOT also wants to hear directly from you about your own experiences with distracted driving.

Whether you have a prevention tip to share or if you’ve been a victim of a distracted driver, CDOT wants to hear your stories.

You can post on CDOT’s Facebook page or send them a private message.

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.

This summer, CDOT will launch a statewide, high-visibility awareness campaign aimed at decreasing distracted driving.

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