Distracted Driving Targeted in New CDOT ‘Killer Habit’ Campaign

Distracted Driving Targeted in New CDOT ‘Killer Habit’ Campaign

Last year, more than 15,500 distracted driving car accidents occurred on Colorado roadways, killing nearly 70 people. This is according to the latest statistics from authorities at the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT), who are now focused on bringing these numbers as close to zero as possible.

To that end, CDOT has recently announced that it is rolling out a new anti-distracted driving campaign. Operating under the title Killer Habit, this  public awareness campaign will reportedly involve a series of movie, radio, Internet and other ads, urging motorists to:

  • Not use their cellphones while driving
  • Focus on the road when they are behind the wheel
  • Do their part to end distracted driving crashes in Colorado.

Sharing more this campaign, Sam Cole, CDOT Communications Manager, has explained that:

We’re calling on Coloradans to reduce distracted driving and avoid the compulsion to grab their phones while driving. Like any good habit, consistency is key… Start with your next drive — lock your phone away and make it to your destination without once touching your phone. Kicking your distracted driving habit could save a life.

Col. Scott Hernandez, Chief of the Colorado State Patrol (CSP), also commented on this campaign, noting that:

Similar to alcohol, using a cell phone while driving impairs your ability to react to changing road conditions… Even if you consider yourself an exemplary driver, distracted driving affects your ability to respond to immediate road hazards and other drivers. We’re seeing more and more crashes involving distracted driving.

A Look at the Prevalence & Dangers of Distracted Driving1

  • About 13 percent of the traffic-related fatalities in Colorado last year were caused by distracted driving.
  • Although any motorist can succumb to distractions behind the wheel, younger drivers are far more often distracted drivers (when compared to more seasoned motorists). In fact, CDOT has reported that more than 37 percent of distracted driving crashes in Colorado last year were caused by drivers younger than 34.
  • Distracted driving has been on the rise in recent years – both in Colorado and across the nation. While distracted driving crashes in Colorado have increased more than 1 percent since 2014, throughout the U.S., distracted driving has surged more than 2 percent since 2013.
  • In 2014, more than 3,170 people were killed – and at least 431,000 others were hurt – in distracted driving crashes.
  • Although about 98 percent of motorists agree that distracted driving is dangerous, about 75 percent admit to giving in to distractions while driving.

What do you think about this campaign – do you think it will be effective at preventing distracted driving accidents, injuries and deaths? And are you surprised about any of the latest statistics on distracted driving? Share your opinions with us on Facebook & Google+.

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1: The statistics in this section are from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) & CDOT.