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Over 15,000 crashes caused by distracted drivers in 2019, CDOT says

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Posted at 1:40 PM, Oct 01, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-01 15:40:04-04

COLORADO — Distracted drivers caused over 15,000 crashes in the state last year, according to the Colorado Department of Transportation.

The department said 15,143 crashes that resulted in 4,361 injuries and 28 deaths were all caused by drivers who were distracted behind the wheel.

“Distracted driving continues to be a prevalent issue on Colorado roads, but is easy to fix,” said Darrell Lingk, CDOT Director of the Office of Transportation Safety, in a release. “Every time you are tempted to reach for your phone or take your eyes off the road, stop and think about the lives at risk and make a safer decision.”

CDOT says 92% of drivers who participated in the 2020 driving behavior survey reported distracted driving within the seven days prior to taking the survey.

Distracted driving includes eating or drinking, being on your phone for reading or sending a text, and even talking on a hands-free device.

“Colorado drivers continue to engage in distracting activities while driving,” Lingk said. “With fall in full swing and winter sports and holidays on the horizon, we encourage people to stay focused on the road and put distractions aside.”

October kicks off the department's annual Distracted Driving Awareness Month that was rescheduled from April due to COVID-19. CDOT is encouraging drivers to turn their phones to "Do Not Disturb" mode before driving and plan stops along your trip to safely eat and use your device.