Distracted motorists are killing more people on Colorado’s roadways than drunk drivers, according to reports from the Colorado Springs Police Department (CSPD) and the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT).
In fact, as officials have pointed out:
- At least 200 more people were killed as a result of distracted drivers last year (when compared to the number of deaths caused by drunk drivers).
- Over the past four years or so, there has been a more than 21 percent increase in the number of fatal accidents that have occurred in Colorado. About 1 in every 5 of these deadly collisions reportedly involves a distracted driver.
Expressing concern over this trend, CSPD Lt. David Edmondson has stated:
That is something that really jumps out at you. Number one, DUI’s been the leading cause for years and years and now all of a sudden you’ve got distracted driving, not paying attention to what’s going on on the road, surpassing DUI.
Distracted Driving Is Growing Trend in U.S., Not Just CO
What may be more unsettling than the fact that so many drivers are causing deadly accidents because they are not paying attention to the roads may be the fact that this is a national trend, not just a trend localized to the state of Colorado.
In fact, national transportation regulators have found that:
- Drunk driving in the U.S. has generally been on the decline over the past decade or so.
- In contrast, distracted driving has been increasing and has been found to be a factor in at least 23 percent of all traffic accidents that occur annually in the nation.
One reason for this, some have contended, is the fact that, while drivers tend to be aware of the dangers associated with drunk driving and agree that they shouldn’t drive when impaired, motorists generally see distracted driving as less of a problem – or as only being problematic when other drivers are distracted, rather than when they, themselves, are distracted.
This may be one of the main reasons that motorists continue talking on phones or otherwise multitasking when behind the wheel.
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