Don’t Be a Distracted Driver!
Stay Alert, Avoid Accidents, and Help Make Colorado Roads Safer
Fatal car wrecks in Colorado have risen 30 percent in the past three years. In 2017 alone, there were 635 crash-related fatalities. And there’s an interesting twist to these stats—a decade ago, rural crashes more consistently resulted in fatalities. Now fatal crashes happen more often in urban counties. According to Michael Lewis, the executive director of Colorado Department of Transportation, this is due to distracted driving—and distracted pedestrians.
It’s the responsibility of every driver to make wise choices behind the wheel. Remember, if you’re under 18, you can get a ticket for talking on the phone while driving. And in 2017, penalties for driving carelessly while texting increased to $400 and four points against your license for a first time offense.
The lesson is: don’t text and drive.
Tips to Nip Distracted Driving in the Bud and Stay Safe on Colorado Roads
Here are a few tips more tips to keep you and others safe on Colorado roads:
- Wear your seatbelt. Colorado ranked 36th in the nation in terms of seat-belt use, which means far too many Coloradans aren’t wearing them.
- Find your phone’s “do not disturb while driving” app and turn it on. It’s standard on all iPhones made in 2017 or later, and there are similar apps you can download for Androids, such as Drivemode, Live2Text, and DriveSafe.ly. Drive Safe Mode is an app that notifies parents when teen drivers use a phone while en route, and Cellcontrol lets parents block a teen’s phone while a car is moving.
- Pull over if you need to “fiddle with” something. This means pull over to enter an address into your GPS, look up a restaurant on your phone, dial a number, scarf down a snack, search for something you dropped, or adjust your seat or mirrors.
- Keep your eyes on the road. It seems obvious, right? Drivers cause many accidents by glancing at passengers during a conversation or by responding to a distraction happening outside the car. (We know the Rockies are amazing, but on mountain roads, it’s even more important to stay focused!)
- Properly restrain your animals so that they don’t bump or climb on you while driving.
- Don’t drive when you’re tired or under the influence of any substance that causes drowsiness.
- Set your perfect playlist and cabin temp before you start moving.
- Car crashes are the number one killers of teens in Colorado and nationwide. Find more tips for teen drivers and parents of teen drivers at Drive Smart Colorado.
Make sure you’re covered if you’re involved in a crash, whether you’re the distracted party or someone else is. Talk to a Colorado Farm Bureau Insurance agent about comprehensive coverage that includes protection in the case of an uninsured motorist.