By now, we have all heard of the dangers of texting and driving. In this day and age, almost all of us have our phones seemingly permanently attached to our hands. In many cases, this can be a good thing—it provides us with a steady stream of information whenever we need it, it allows us to keep in touch with all our friends and family no matter where they are in the world, and most of us even use our phones as our primary GPS devices while driving. However, there is a time and a place to use your smartphone—and driving is clearly not one of those times.
Distracted driving has become such a huge issue that the National Safety Council has dedicated a whole month to raising awareness of the issue. By their reports, at least nine Americans die in a distracted driving crash every day. If that was not enough, approximately one hundred are injured as a result of a distracted driver every day. Clearly, this is a huge issue. So how is it possible that distracted driving is such an underreported issue in the State of Colorado? Read on to find out more.
Unfortunately, in a recent survey, over 91% of Colorado drivers admitted to distracted driving. Interestingly enough, although Colorado drivers suffer about 120,000 accidents per year, only about 20,000 are confirmed to be distracted driving accidents. This does not mean that distracted driving is harmless, however. It simply means one thing: distracted driving is vastly underreported in Colorado.
You might be asking yourself how this could be possible if so many Colorado drivers have confessed to distracted driving. That may be true, but when it comes down to it, distracted driving is one of the easiest things to cover up at the scene of an accident. You may have seen another driver texting and driving at the time of impact, but by the time the police get to the scene, they may simply shrug it off their shoulders. “Well,” they may say, “he didn’t have his phone out when I got here.”
It is hard to argue with that logic if you do not have any direct proof to contradict it. Fortunately, there may be ways for you to prove that you were hit by a distracted driver after the fact. Immediately following an accident, you should try to procure any witnesses who would be willing to testify in your favor. You may also find that the accident was caught on surveillance cameras and that the footage shows the other driver on their phone at the time of the accident. If none of this applies, you may be able to request phone records with the help of an experienced car accident attorney.
Of course, distracted driving encompasses more than just texting and driving. It also covers any incident where a driver does not have all five of their senses engaged in the act of driving, such as eating and driving or even very intense cases of talking and driving. In such cases, eyewitness reports and surveillance tapes will still prove to be incredibly useful to you, so it is still a good idea to collect as much evidence as you can. This is good advice to follow in any type of accident.
Due to the phenomenon of underreporting and coverups, it may be impossible for us to ever know the real rates of distracted driving in the State of Colorado. However, it is safe to say that this is a very serious and very prevalent issue in this day and age of ever-present connectedness. We all know that this is something that happens on a regular basis because most of us have witnessed it ourselves.
Distracted driving may not seem like a big deal because it does not seem as outwardly reckless as some other negligent driving behaviors (for instance, drinking and driving is very obviously outlandish behavior). However, studies show that even being on a phone call while driving can be enough to significantly slow your response time. And if you have ever been in an automobile accident before, you already know that you do not have to be a distracted driver in order to be harmed by a distracted driver. Most accidents happen simply because one party decided to partake in negligent behavior and catch another driver off-guard.
In Colorado specifically, there is an average of around 120,000 motor vehicle collisions per year. Because of underreporting and coverups, it is difficult for us to know just how many of these accidents were a direct result of distracted driving. However, using the powers of deduction, if 91% of survey respondents confessed to distracted driving and only 22,000 Colorado accidents per year are confirmed to be distracted driving accidents, then surely something does not add up. And if there is something we could do to bring the overall incident rate of auto accidents down, wouldn’t it be irresponsible for us not to do it? The duty lies on all of us to reduce the rates of distracted driving in Colorado and ensure everybody’s continued safety.
Distracted driving is an unfortunate, underreported epidemic on Colorado roads all across the state. This is a trend that most other states follow as well. If you or a loved one have recently been in a car accident with a distracted driver, the experienced lawyers at Injury Victim Law may be able to help. Though we are a Colorado-based firm, our team of experts and investigators is dedicated to helping victims all over the United States. Contact us today to schedule an initial consultation with one of our seasoned nationwide car accident attorneys. We would be happy to lay all your questions and concerns to rest. You should never have to suffer the consequences of somebody else’s actions. We are here to fight for your rights and protect your legal interests.