What are the Texting and Driving Laws in Colorado?

Distracted Driving

Texting and Driving actually falls under a specific category known as distracted driving.

Distracted driving is engaging in any activity while driving that distracts you from the road. According to CDOT, these include a variety of distracting activities. Children, passengers, food, pets, and electronic devices are all considered distractions while driving.

Texting while driving is one of the major perpetrators of distracted driving. 

Distracted Driving Statistics in Colorado

According to the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT):

  • In 2018, 15,285 crashes on Colorado roads involved a distracted driver. 
  • More than 40 car crashes occur each day in Colorado involving distracted drivers.
  • In 2018, there were 59 deaths attributed to distracted driving.
  • 85% of Coloradans still admit to driving distracted daily.

Despite these statistics, there are still many Coloradans that continue to text and drive. In an attempt to combat this issue, Colorado released a campaign called "Get Turned On." This is to encourage drivers to turn on do not disturb while they drive. 

What are the Current Distracted Driving Laws in Colorado?

There are a few factors that determine which law applies to you. For example, if you are an adult driver, you have a bit more freedom than a minor. 

Adults are granted the ability to use a cell phone for voice calls. Due to this, they are also able to wear headphones or a headset. The only stipulation is it can only be in one ear. Although adults are allowed to do this, they are prohibited from manual data entry. Which means they cannot text or browse the internet while driving.

Minors, however, are not allowed to use their cellphone while driving at all. This includes phone calls, texting, or other forms of data entry.

Drivers who only have a learner's permit, regardless of age, are prohibited from using any mobile device. 

Exceptions

As with many other laws, there are exceptions. If an individual finds themselves in an emergency situation, regardless of age, they are allowed to contact a public safety entity. 

How are Distracted Driving Laws Enforced in Colorado?

There are 2 categories of enforcement to consider. The first one being primary enforcement. Primary enforcement of driving laws means that a police officer can pull you over if they see you violating distracted driving laws. 

The second one is secondary enforcement. This means that police can cite you for violating distracted driving laws only if you are also breaking another law. For example, if you are speeding while also driving distracted. Secondary enforcement is used in Colorado. Meaning you can only get in trouble for texting if you are driving in a careless manner. 

What are your Rights if you are Injured by Someone Texting and Driving?

Texting and driving is one of the most dangerous activities to do while driving. In fact, some attribute it to being worse than drinking and driving. 

Our attorneys at Doehling Law advise individuals to use their cell phones responsibly. Refrain from cell phone use while driving when possible. We are also dedicated to assisting victims injured by drivers who text and drive. 

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