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Using a Smartphone While Driving, Not So Smart

Using a Smartphone While Driving, Not So Smart - Hull and ZimmermanMany of us are culprits of the occasional peek at our phone while sitting at the intersection or driving slow, but the fact is, even if you’re stopped or moving along at a snail’s pace, your phone should be entirely off-limits when you’re behind the wheel. 

Driving is difficult enough with the usual distractions: food, music, kids, construction, etc. Adding a smartphone to the mix is not only irresponsible, but can lead to destruction, injury, and death. 

 

 

Cell phone use while driving

While our phones have many amazing aspects, those aspects need to be used in a competent manner. Because of the over 15,000 distracted driving accidents in Colorado in 2019, it’s vital to do your part to stay away from risky driving and risky drivers.

Here are some important facts according to CDOT: 

•  In 2019, Colorado saw 4,361 injuries due to distracted driving

•  In 2019, Colorado saw 28 fatalities due to distracted driving

•  In 2019, there were 15,143 crashes due to distracted driving

•  In 2019, more than 40 car accidents a day occurred due to distracted driving

•  1 of 4 car crashes are due to phone use

•  85% of Coloradans admit to driving distracted

According to a study conducted for The Zebra using Google Consumer Surveys:

•  Nationwide, 14% of all fatal car accidents involve cell phone use

•  At any given moment, 7% of drivers are using their cell phones nationwide

•  In 2017, cell phone use caused 1.5 million car accidents nationwide

•  Cell phone-related car crashes cost $129 billion of the societal damage caused by car accidents, inclusive of lost lives

While these stats are alarming and clearly show the evidence against cell phone use while driving, only 16 states have a ban on complete cell phone use while behind the wheel. We should all feel somewhat anxious to hear that nationwide, at any given time, over 650,000 are driving while using their phone, or attempting to. 

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, driving while texting is 6 times more dangerous than driving while intoxicated.

The average time a driver’s eyes are off the road when texting is five seconds. If driving 55 mph, an entire football field is covered in that time without taking one look at where the vehicle is headed. Yet, this still happens all too often.

These unsafe acts contribute to safety hazards for you, other drivers, pedestrians, cyclists, and surrounding property.

Important driving laws:

•  It is illegal to text and drive in Colorado

•  It is illegal to use your phone in any capacity while driving if you are under the age of 18 in Colorado

•  Drivers over 18 can only use their cell phones for phone calls in Colorado

•  In Colorado, any driver can legally use their cell phone while driving in case of emergency, which are defined as fear of life, a criminal act is about to occur or occurring, reporting of a fire, hazard, or accident, or to report an unsafe, reckless driver

Whenever possible, the driver should pull over to use their mobile phone, even in emergencies. 

 

Smart steps to avoid your phone while driving

Now that you know the stats and understand the importance of your safe driving habits, take a look at some of the steps you can take to make the road a safer place:

•  The Do Not Disturb mode on your phone is there so you can be left alone when needed, driving is a great time to use the feature

•  Should you get an incoming text, call, or email, ignore it until you’re in a safe place and not behind the wheel, or until you arrive at your destination

•  If traveling a long distance, plan to check your phone during gas station visits, food stops, and scenery lookouts 

•  If driving with a passenger, let that person answer calls and texts

•  Use your driving time to take a break from technology, think of it as a treat, turn your ringer to mute

•  Get your playlist and GPS ready prior to driving

The best way to drive your vehicle is to stay focused on the road, be attentive, and follow all driving rules and laws. There is no room for phone use when driving as you should. 

 

The takeaway 

Texting and driving is proven to be more dangerous than drinking and driving, and that says a lot. Pedestrians, cyclists, and other motorists can suffer from dozens of injuries or even death when coming into contact with a distracted driver. 

If you or a loved one has been involved in a car accident with a distracted driver, the injuries and the cost can be debilitating. Hiring a car accident attorney who can properly investigate your case and get you the compensation you’re entitled to a smart step.  

Call Hull & Zimmerman your Northglenn personal injury attorneys and set up your free consultation. If you’ve been injured as a result of a negligent driver, we will carefully review your matter and give you the peace of mind you deserve through the legal process. 

We proudly serve North Denver, Northglenn, Westminster, Thornton, Commerce City, Arvada, and Broomfield.

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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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