Distracted Driving

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What is Distracted Driving?

Distracted driving is the act of driving while engaged in anything that takes your focus away from the road, including texting, looking after children or pets, talking on the phone or to a passenger, watching videos, eating or reading.

Multitasking is a myth. A person’s attention can switch back and forth between tasks quickly, but your optimal focus cannot be on two tasks at once. When you’re driving distracted, your attention is diverted from the road ahead, slowing reaction time and, with it, the ability to avoid hazards that can result in a crash.

Defeat Distracted Driving Pledge

As part of Distracted Driving Awareness Month, CDOT has announced the “Defeat Distracted Driving Pledge”, to unite Coloradan drivers against distracted driving. Students, organizations, and popular locations across Colorado will be asked to pledge to never drive distracted and stand up against distracted driving.

To sign the Defeat Distracted Driving pledge, click here.

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Distracted Driving in Colorado

In 2020, 10,166 crashes involved a Colorado distracted driver, resulting in 1,476 injuries and 68 deaths. Even with these life-threatening consequences, more than 90% of Colorado drivers self-report driving distracted.

What is CDOT doing about Distracted Driving? Our latest campaign is Distraction Reactions, an effort designed to start shifting social norms by encouraging drivers to think twice before they pick up that phone.  To view the Spanish campaign, visit Racciones a la distracción.

Distracted Driving Nationwide

Distracted driving claims hundreds of lives each year across the United States. In 2019 alone, 3,142 lives were lost and roughly 400,000 people were injured due to the preventable decision to drive distracted. This includes such behaviors as eating while driving, turning to talk to passengers, using a phone, and more. Visit NHSTA’s Distracted Driving page for information on the national effort to save lives by ending distracted driving.

  • In 2020, 10,166 crashes involved a Colorado distracted driver, resulting in 1,476 injuries and 68 deaths.
  • In CDOT's 2021 annual mail survey of Colorado drivers, in the week prior to the survey
    • 91% of participants reported driving distracted in the past seven days.
    • 54% admitted to reading a message on their phones.
    • Nearly 50% talked on a cell phone while driving.
    • 41% sent a message while driving.

Top distractions drivers reported doing in the last week

Fatalities involving a distracted driver