Colorado drivers are keenly aware of the dangers of texting, cell phone use, and other actions, but statistics about distracted driving accidents reveal that many still engage in risky conduct while behind the wheel. According to the Colorado Department of Transportation, distracted driving is linked to around 17 percent of all fatal and injury-causing collisions every year. All US states have enacted laws prohibiting various forms of cell phone use, but some motorists are not deterred by the resulting fines or other sanctions.
As such, when considering how to prevent distracted driving, you are in the best position to protect yourself. While you should discuss your options with a Colorado distracted driving accident attorney if you were involved in a crash, some tips and recommendations may help you avoid one.
Signs to Watch for Distracted Driving
Motorists who are texting, talking on the phone, or posting to social media are impaired. They suffer visual, manual, and cognitive deficits, so they are often guilty of certain telltale maneuvers while behind the wheel. Keep an eye out for:
- Swerving within lanes;
- Crossing over a median into oncoming traffic;
- Running through red lights or stop signs;
- Failure to yield, especially to pedestrians and bicycle riders; and,
- Any other signs that the motorist is not paying attention.
Note that there are other forms of distracted driving that do not involve cell phone use. It can be just as dangerous to eat, drink beverages, groom, adjust the radio or search for directions on your phone, since doing so takes the driver’s attention away from operating the vehicle.
Safety Tips Regarding Distracted Driving
You can do your best to avoid drivers who pose a risk due to distractions, but you also have a legal responsibility to avoid dangerous activities while operating your vehicle. Be mindful of the distractions that may affect you when driving. For instance:
- You will be less tempted to review a text or answer a call when your phone is inaccessible, so stow it somewhere out of immediate reach.
- If you rely on a GPS to get around, set your coordinates before your departure. Pull over to a safe spot to interact with the device. Activate the audio directions so that you can avoid looking at the directions on your phone.
- For those that must have their morning coffee or other beverage, take sips while stopped or in low traffic. Eating requires more manual coordination, so wait until you reach your destination.
- You can still listen to music while driving, but do not try to interact with the radio or other device while driving. These activities distract in much the same way as cell phone use.
Set Up a Consultation with a Colorado Distracted Driving Accidents Lawyer Today
These tips on how to prevent distracted driving may be useful, but accidents are still a threat anytime motorists allow non-driving activities to occupy their attention. For more information on your legal options as the victim of a collision, please contact McCormick & Murphy to set up a free case evaluation at our offices in Colorado Springs, Denver, or Pueblo, CO. We can advise you on next steps after reviewing your circumstances.