By Shawna Khalafi

(CBS4) — April is National Distracted Driving Awareness Month, and the Colorado Department of Transportation has launched a campaign to encourage drivers to keep their eyes on the road.

(credit: CBS)

There are signs on the highway and coffee sleeves at local cafes with messages warning about the dangers of distracted driving.

“Distracted driving involves people taking their eyes off the road, their hands off the wheel for a few seconds, and a lot can happen in a few seconds,” said CDOT Traffic Safety Communications Manager Sam Cole. “It takes about four seconds to send a text message. If you’re going 60 miles per hour, you’ve just driven the length of a football field.”

According to CDOT, in a survey of adult Colorado drivers in 2021, 91% said they had driven while distracted at least once in the past week, and more than half of those drivers said they were “often” or “always” distracted when driving.

Distracted driving is one of the top contributors to crashes on Colorado roadways.

“It’s reckless; it’s dangerous,” Cole said. “We lost 68 people to traffic crashes that involved a distracted driver in 2020. If anything, we think it’s under-reported since a lot of people who are in crashes aren’t actually perhaps being honest about what they were doing.”

CDOT wants to remind drivers to pay attention to the road while driving and pull over in a safe spot if you need to.

Shawna Khalafi