Texting & Driving by the Numbers
According to recent statistics, distracting driving accounts for over 25% of all car accidents. Yes, text messaging while you drive is incredibly dangerous. While a smartphone’s GPS can be incredibly helpful for navigation, using your phone to text while behind the wheel is one of the quickest ways to increase your chances of suffering a minor or even fatal accident.
While you may feel confident about using your cellular device while driving, the truth is that taking your eyes away from the road even for a split second can mean the difference between avoiding a crash and putting yourself and others in harm’s way. When you choose to text and drive, you increase your chances of having an accident to more than three times that of someone who is paying attention to the road. Also, those who text and drive were found to operate their vehicle as if they had just consumed three to four alcoholic beverages. Many drivers would never get behind the wheel intoxicated but will happily engage in communications via text while driving, which doesn’t add up.
In Colorado, drivers under the ages of 18 are not permitted to use their cell phone for calls or otherwise, while drivers over the age of 18 can use their cell phone for calls only. Not only does using your phone to text while driving put you at risk, but you are also liable for traffic fines if pulled over by a member of law enforcement. These fines can be anywhere from $50 to $200, which is no small amount of money!
Know The Law
Under Colorado law, there are only a few specific instances in which you are permitted to using your cell phone behind the wheel. Using your cell phone for reasons other than stated by law not only puts you at risk for an accident but might have legal repercussions even if you don’t cause a crash.
Here are a few reasons you are legally allowed to use your phone while behind the wheel.
- You believe you have reason to fear for your or your passenger’s life.
- You are in the process of witnessing a criminal act either to you or other persons in your current visibility.
- You are using your cell phone to report a traffic accident, fire, or any other road hazard.
- You are using your cell phone to report a person driving recklessly or (that you believe to be) under the influence.
If you do receive an important text while driving, take the time to pull over to give the message your undivided attention. While it may take a few minutes out of your commute, it’s significantly better than the alternative of getting in a crash. Don’t put yourself or others at risk by using your phone to text while driving.
If you are involved in an accident, it’s crucial that you consider hiring a car accident attorney to help you throughout the process regardless of whether you were at fault.