If you were to look into the source of many auto accidents, you would find one common denominator: distraction. In today's society, there are more things vying for our attention than ever before. Without a doubt, the most common and dangerous of these is text messaging.
To address the growing problem of distraction, federal and state governments nationwide are working together to enforce strict laws against texting behind the wheel, as well as raise awareness about the dangers of distracted driving through websites like Disctraction.gov.
Teens and young drivers are especially prone to cell phone-related crashes because of their inexperience behind the wheel and susceptibility to distractions. Therefore, many states have focused their prevention efforts on this demographic.
Statistics on Cell Phone Use Behind the Wheel
It becomes obvious that texting and cell phone use when operating a vehicle is a serious problem once you consider the data. For example, a study out of Virginia Tech Transportation Institute determined that every time a driver receives or sends a text, they take their eyes off the road for an average of 4.6 seconds. While this may not seem like much at first, consider that for a driver traveling at 55 mph, this means roughly the equivalent of a driving the length of a football field blindfolded.
So if texting while driving is so dangerous, what is being done to stop it?
Texting and Driving Law in Colorado
According to Colorado law, novice drivers —which are any drivers under the age of 18— are prohibited from using a cell phone (both handheld and hands-free devices) in any way when operating a vehicle. Colorado went one step further in 2009 by banning texting for all drivers—adults and teens.
During certain emergencies, the law does allow the use of cell phones or texting while operating a vehicle. These rare exceptions are:
Drivers caught texting behind the wheel in any other instance will face a $50 fine for the first offense and $100 for the second. However, these fines are nothing compared with the cost of injuring or killing another person in a car crash.
Talk To an Experienced Denver Lawyer Specializing in Distracted Driving
While the laws regarding texting and driving are clear, injury lawsuits that arise from distraction-caused motor vehicle collisions often are not. Not only must accident victims prove that the other driver was at fault, but cases typically are delayed by liability disputes and calculating the total cost of damages.
If you or a loved one has been injured in an auto accident, contact us today to learn how representation works or schedule a completely free consultation to discuss your case with Denver attorney R. Mack Babcock today.