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AAA reports reveal how dangerous distracted driving really is

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Drivers on their cell phone are two to eight times more likely to be involved in a crash then non-device-distracted drivers, according to the American Automobile Association.

A new report from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety revealed just how dangerous distracted driving really is. AAA says drivers texting or surfing the web on their phone are two to eight times more likely to get in a crash than drivers non-device distracted.

AAA also says that drivers talking on their cell phones behind the wheel are up to four times more likely to be involved in a crash regardless of whether they are using a hands-free or handheld device. 

“Deep down, I think everybody appreciates just how dangerous it can be to text and drive or talk and drive,” said AAA Colorado spokesman Skyler McKinley. “That so many drivers regularly engage in these deadly behaviors is evidence of a ‘It could never happen to me’ mindset. Today’s report should make one thing clear: Motorists are putting themselves, other road users, pedestrians, and property at significant risk every time they pick up the phone while driving.”

According to preliminary data from CDOT, 620 people have died on Colorado's roads in 2017, which is higher than the 2016 record-breaking tally with the highest figure in more than a decade. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said distraction was a factor in about 10 percent of all fatal motor vehicle crashes, and 18 percent of all crashes causing injury.

Unfortunately while more than 66 percent of drivers say they consider it unacceptable to talk on a phone while driving, nearly 33 percent admit to doing it often or regularly, according to AAA. 

AAA says the majority of drivers support having a law against reading, typing, or sending a text message or email while driving. 

“Any level of risk is too high when it comes to safety behind the wheel,” McKinley said. “Configure your GPS, check your notifications, and come up with a clever response to that cheeky Instagram comment before you hit the road. While driving, focus on just one task: Driving."

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