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Cell Phone Use and Car Accidents

In Colorado, it is illegal for drivers to text and drive. Drivers under age 18 are prohibited from all cellphone use while driving. Penalties range from 1 point and a $50 fine to 4 points and $1,000 and/or a year in prison.

However it’s not just points and fines cell phone users need to be worried about. According to the Colorado Department of Transportation (or CDOT), 42 crashes per day happen as a result of distracted driving. The largest percentage of these drivers are between the ages of 21 and 30.

“More than 90% of Colorado drivers self-report driving distracted”
Source: CDOT

When a person chooses to text and drive, they put their own and others’ lives at risk. This is careless and preventable. Here are a few more painful stats to consider:

As more and more types of communication technology become accessible via cell phone, drivers are tempted to continue using their electronic devices to keep talking, texting, emailing, etc., while they drive. However, drawing motorists’ manual and cognitive focus from the road can be dangerous. If a driver isn’t paying attention because of a cell phone, he or she may cause an accident and injure other motorists or pedestrians. Because of their negligent lack of attention to the road, these distracted drivers may be held responsible for the damages stemming from these accidents.


Types of Cell Phone Distractions

The CDC Distracted Driving Fact Sheet (pdf) says that distracted driving can fall into one of three categories:

  • Eyes off the road
  • Hands off the wheel
  • Mind off driving

Drivers need to pay attention to the road and put any mobile devices away until they have pulled over or left the vehicle. Motorists may be tempted by the following cell phone distractions:

Eyes off the road. This includes actions such as:

  • Looking up directions
  • Reading (social media, texts, emails, etc.)

Hands off the wheel. This includes actions such as:

  • Talking on the phone without a hands-free device
  • Eating
  • Composing text or email messages
  • Posting to social media
  • Shaving or applying makeup

Mind off driving. This includes actions such as:

  • Thinking about something else.
  • Emotional distraction (for example worrying about what to make for dinner)
  • Focus on passengers, children, or pets in the car
  • Talking on the phone

These actions may endanger other drivers and pedestrians, and they should be put off until a motorist is off the road.


Tips For Preventing Distracted Driving

Vow to not be a distracted driver. Give yourself extra time before taking off. Program your GPS and adjust your mirrors, climate control, and radio before you start your drive. Handle texts and emails when you arrive at your destination.

Choose public transportation. If you need or want to read or work during your commute, consider public transportation, rideshare, or taxi service. This decision could save your life and the lives of others.

Help out. As a passenger, help the driver with distracting tasks, such as adjusting controls. Limit distracting behaviors and speak up if you feel unsafe or uncomfortable because of their distracted driving and cell phone use. Ask them to not text and drive while you are a passenger.

Communicate. Parents, talk to your teen and young adult drivers about the dangers of texting and driving. Set consequences and consider using technology that helps support the no texting and driving rule.

The best technology is often found in the form of an app that works with your or your teen’s phone. Use the settings that block phone calls and text messages. Emergency features allow for a quick swipe for true emergencies, not just for stopping at a traffic light.

Note: The best apps will block calls, texts, social media, and internet access both from coming in and going out.

Some great anti-distracted driving app suggestions include:

  • DriveMode
  • EverDrive
  • LifeSaver
  • TrueMotion Family
  • TextDrive
  • Drive Safe

Your device, cell phone carrier, budget, and battery life all need to be considered when looking at your options above. Some apps are free, while others are paid, and some work with Android, while others work with iPhone. You can also check with your cell phone carrier for specific apps they offer for reducing accidents caused by distracted driving.


When An Accident Happens

First and foremost, get the help you need to be safe and heal. Your health is always the priority.

When a driver isn’t paying attention because of a cell phone, he or she may cause an accident and injure other motorists or pedestrians. Because of their negligent lack of attention to the road, these distracted drivers may be held responsible for the damages stemming from these vehicle accidents.


Contact Us

If you’ve sustained an injury on the road because of a distracted driver, that driver may be at fault for your pain and suffering and may be liable for your damages. You will need an experienced personal injury lawyer to help you. Contact us for a free consultation regarding your legal options; and to find out if you are entitled to file a personal injury lawsuit to seek compensation for your injury expenses.  Also click to call now (303) 647-4306.


At Hull & Zimmerman, P.C., we are honored to help accident victims in their time of need, and take our responsibility as personal injury lawyers incredibly seriously. We know how important it is for victims to secure the full and fair compensation they need following a serious accident, and that is why we take a hands-on, personalized approach to every case we handle.

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