The Dangers of Distracted Driving
The act of diverting your attention from the objective of driving a motor vehicle not only puts yourself in danger, but everyone else around you. Whether you are grooming your hair or eating breakfast on the go, any activity or person that distracts you is dangerous. However, no other form of distracted driving can trump the use of cell phones while behind the wheel.
Other than teen or novice drivers, there is no law prohibiting the use of cell phones while driving in the state of Colorado. However, it can vary from city to county within the state of Colorado.
Cell Phone Use
Drivers who are 18 years old or younger, are prohibited from using cell phones (handheld or hands-free) while driving. Some exceptions for teenage drivers are:
- reporting a fire
- reporting a traffic accident in which one or more injuries are apparent
- reporting a serious road hazard
- reporting a medical or hazardous materials emergency
- reporting a person who is driving in a reckless, careless, or otherwise unsafe manner.
While driving a motor vehicle, all drivers are prohibited from texting if it puts themselves and others in immediate danger. Colorado’s texting bill prohibits the use of a wireless telephone for texting except for “emergencies”.
An emergency is characterized as a situation where the person texting “ has probable cause to fear for such person’s life or safety or believes that a criminal act may me perpetrated against such a person” or someone who is reporting “a fire, a traffic accident in which one or more injuries are obvious, a serious road hazard, a medical or hazardous materials emergency, or a person who is driving in a reckless, careless, or otherwise unsafe manner”.
In a few instances, video footage can catch the distracted driver on camera. There also may be signs of physical evidence, such as food spilled on the car’s interior which may indicate that the driver was not devoting their full attention to the road at the time of the crash
How to Prove Distracted Driving
If a distracted driver caused an accident in which you are involved, you will have to prove the driver was in fact distracted at the time of the accident in order to recover compensation for any personal injuries. Here are some ways to prove distracted driving:
- A distracted driver’s own admission of fault
- A police report
- Cellphone log
- Eyewitness testimony