SOUTHWESTERN COLORADO (CSP District 5) – After a recent string of fatal crashes in Southwestern Colorado, the Colorado State Patrol reminds drivers that it is imperative to pay complete attention to the only task that is important while operating a motor vehicle. Since the start of 2018, five of seven fatal crashes in the Southwest region of the state were related to distracted driving. Distracted driving causes an average of 40 crashes per day across Colorado. Across the United States, distracted driving killed 3,477 and injured 391,000 family members, friends, and neighbors in 2015.
65 miles per hour means 95.3 feet per second. A small two second distraction could mean driving through the stopping vehicle ahead. Consider that a text takes an average of five seconds to respond to. That is 476.5 feet. In the time that it has taken for you to watch your favorite running back run from the 50 to score six, you have driven over one and a half football fields.
Cell phones aren’t the only distractions. Food and snacks and cell phones can wait. Pets should never be in a location in the vehicle where they can interfere with the driver. And yes, this includes the front seats. A motor vehicle is certainly not the place for reading or for personal grooming. When you see any of these unsafe behaviors, please find a safe place to stop and report this to us at *CSP (*277).
Nearly half of drivers admit to using cell phones while driving. This is risky and irresponsible behavior. Consider that the car you are approaching may be your neighbor’s child, spouse, or parent. And, your passengers are often your closest family members. Drop the distraction for them, and for yourself. On average, 85 percent of communication is with only the five closest people. These people would be the most understanding when you tell them you are hitting the pause button on your phone while driving.
The Colorado State Patrol and partner law enforcement agencies across Colorado are taking a Zero Tolerance position on distracted driving. Ensure that the radio is set, the mirrors are adjusted, driving directions are entered, pets are in the rear of the vehicle, and all other distractions are eliminated prior to putting the vehicle in drive. Consider using cell phone apps such as AT&T DriveMode, Life Saver, True Motion Family, or Safe Ride to remove cell phone distractions.
Distracted driving is a Killer Habit. You won’t realize your mistake until it is too late, and neither will your family or friends. Have these conversations, change habits, and spread the word. While driving, remember 100 percent attention, 100 percent of the time.