DENVER (KRDO) -- The Colorado Department of Transportation reported Thursday that more than 15,000 crashes in 2019 involved a distracted driver. Yet a 2020 survey from the agency also shows 92 percent of surveyed drivers admit to driving distracted.
“Distracted driving continues to be a prevalent issue on Colorado roads, but is easy to fix,” said Darrell Lingk, CDOT Director of the Office of Transportation Safety. “Every time you are tempted to reach for your phone or take your eyes off the road, stop and think about the lives at risk and make a safer decision.”
CDOT says distracted drivers were involved in 15,143 crashes on Colorado roads in 2019, which resulted in 4,361 injuries and 28 deaths.
In the department's latest survey of driving behavior, 92 percent of respondents said they had driven distractedly within the past week. The most common distractions were eating food, selecting entertainment on a device, talking on the phone and reading or sending a text message.
“Colorado drivers continue to engage in distracting activities while driving,” Lingk said. “With fall in full swing and winter sports and holidays on the horizon, we encourage people to stay focused on the road and put distractions aside.”
CDOT is encouraging drivers to turn their phone on "Do Not Disturb" mode before driving and to plan your route or entertainment ahead of the drive.
Distracted driving has steadily caused more crashes since 2012, according to data from CDOT. While distracted driving is a problem across all age groups, people under the age of 40 have caused the most crashes while distracted.