Distracted driving is one of the biggest threats to safety on Colorado’s roads, causing 15,000 crashes each year in the state – an average of 42 crashes every day.
To combat it, Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) is joining a nationwide effort during this month’s Distracted Driving Awareness Month.
During the month, CDOT’s Distraction Reactions campaign will be on display at 48 coffee shops throughout the state with coffee cups warning about the dangers of distracted driving.
The campaign asks drivers to consider: if you saw how others reacted to your distracted driving, would that change your behavior? The goal of this campaign is to focus on the social stigma of distracted driving and push drivers to reconsider their behavior behind the wheel. CDOT will also take to social media with its distracted driving safety messages.
“Distracted drivers do not often see the risk of their behavior until it’s too late,” said Darrell Lingk, Highway Safety Office director at CDOT.
“While the risks associated with distracted driving are well documented, studies show the majority of Coloradans still choose to engage in this behavior, which presents a danger to everyone who uses our roads.”
According to data from CDOT, crashes involving distracted drivers have been on the rise, increasing from 13,332 in 2012 to 15,143 in 2019. Of those crashes in 2019, 4,361 people were injured and 39 people lost their lives.
Despite the rising occurrence of crashes, a 2020 survey of drivers in Colorado found that 92 percent admitted to driving distracted weekly.