The technological advancements we enjoy every day are our detriment on the roads. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, using a cell phone while driving creates enormous potential for deaths and injuries on U.S. roads. In 2017 alone, 3,166 people were killed in motor vehicle crashes involving distracted drivers. The laws in Colorado regarding cell phone use while driving strive to keep our communities safe, but you cannot guarantee that they are being strictly followed by everyone on the road.
Colorado Laws Regarding Texting and Driving
Adult drivers, the age of 18 and older, are permitted to use their cell phones for voice calls but not texting or for browsing apps or the internet. Any driver under the age of 18 is prohibited from using their cell phone for any reason while driving. The only exceptions to these laws fall under emergency situations. In attempts to discourage and prevent drivers from distracted driving, there are tough penalties associated with violating these laws:
- Minors caught texting while driving will be given a $50 fine for their first violation and a $100 fine for any additional violations after that.
- Adult drivers will be given a steeper fine of $300 for their first violation, and fines up to $1,000 with the possibility of jail time for additional violations; especially ones that result in bodily injury or proximate cause of death to another.
In addition to the penalties mentioned above, distracted drivers can be held legally responsible for any harm or injuries to you after an accident they’ve caused. It can be difficult for personal injury victims to prove the other party’s negligence in their case when fighting for fair compensation to help them recover. This is why you need an experienced attorney on your side who understands the proper processes for gathering evidence to help you secure a successful claim.
Texting While Driving Is Distracted Driving
Using your cell phone to text while driving is one of the most dangerous forms of distraction. It incorporates all three types of distractions as identified by the CDC:
- Visual (taking your eyes off the road),
- Manual (taking your hands off the wheel), and
- Cognitive (taking your mind or focus off the road).
According to the Colorado Department of Transportation, on average, distracted drivers cause 40 accidents per day in Colorado alone.
The most common type of distracted driving accidents that include texting and driving are rear-ended collisions. And when your vehicle has been struck by another, it’s a horrifying and helpless feeling. The damages you could suffer vary in range from physical to emotional, minor to life-threatening. If you or a loved one has been the recent victim of a car accident in the Longmont or Boulder area, call an experienced Colorado personal injury attorney to help you find your road to recovery.