DENVER (CBS4) – The month of April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month. In conjunction with a national campaign, the Colorado Department of Transportation and Colorado State Patrol have teamed up to crack down on the illegal activity.
“Law enforcement is on the lookout for distracted driving,” said Sam Cole, spokesman for CDOT.
Studies provided by CDOT showed the most common form of distracted driving is phone usage. Right behind, taking eyes off the road to talk with passengers in a car is the second most common offense.
The same studies showed 22 percent of Colorado drivers admitted to texting and driving. Nearly two-thirds of the drivers admitted to using their phone for entertainment while driving.
“Distracted driving is a huge problem not only in Colorado, but a problem nationally,” Cole said.
Between 2012, and 2015, almost 60,000 distracted driving-related crashes occurred in Colorado alone.
Cole said distracted driving could be more of an issue than drunk driving as time goes, as drunk driving is taught to be taboo at a young age.
“People just don’t feel the same way about distracted driving,” Cole said.
“Whenever I am almost hit, it is someone texting, or not paying attention at all,” said Karl Schwab, a driver.
Schwab admitted to eating while driving, saying that was his most common distracted driving offense. He said, when doing it, it is simple to fall victim.
“I think, ‘This will only take a few minutes, I will be fine’,” Schwab said.
“People really need to know, they are not invincible,” Cole said. “It can happen to them.”
Distracted drivers could be issued citations, if caught. A citation in Colorado can come with a $100 fine.
Dillon Thomas is a reporter at CBS4 and a Colorado native. He believes everyone has a story, and would love to share yours! You can find more of his stories by following him on Twitter, @DillonMThomas.