COLORADO SPRINGS, Colorado — April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month and the Colorado State Patrol and Colorado Department of Transportation want to get more people to pay attention when they're behind the wheel.
In a recent survey, 91 percent of Colorado drivers admitted to driving distracted in the previous week. More troubling, more than half of respondents said they were often or always distracted while driving.
All of that bad behavior had consequences. Distracted driving is the leading cause of crashes in Colorado. There were more than 10,000 distracted-driving-related wrecks recorded in 2020. More than 1,400 people were injured in those wrecks and 68 people were killed.
"When you're behind the wheel, that's your job full-time. Don't become distracted. Don't allow yourself to become distracted," said Trooper Josh Lewis, a Public Information Officer with the Colorado State Patrol.
According to traffic accident data compiled by the state patrol, El Paso County had the second-highest number of distracted-driving wrecks in 2021 following Douglas County.
Sam Cole, Traffic Safety Communications Manager with C-DOT announced a public awareness campaign that will focus on getting drivers to put down their phones.
"Our awareness campaign lets people know that what they are doing is shameful," Cole said. "They should not be taking their eyes off the road. They should not be taking their hands off of the steering wheel."
Lewis said that troopers will also be looking for drivers who aren't paying attention to the road. They wrote more than 16,000 tickets in 2021 for distracted driving.
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