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Is Texting While Driving Really As Dangerous As Driving Drunk?

Well, first of all, let’s be clear: texting while driving in Colorado is illegal.  In June, 2009 Governor Bill Ritter signed into law a bill that made it a crime to send text messages — including e-mails and tweets — while driving. This law prohibits anyone younger than 18 from using a cell phone at all while driving.


The law took effect on Dec. 1, 2009.   Violations are considered a Class A traffic infraction, punishable by a fine of $50 for a first offense, and $100.00 fine for second offenses.

Colorado’s cell phone and texting laws are considered “primary” laws. A primary law means that an officer can pull you over for the offense without having to witness some other violation.

Emergency exceptions to this law include:

  • When a person has reason to fear for his or her life.
  • When you believe that a criminal act may occur to yourself or another.
  • Reporting a fire, traffic accident, road hazards, medical or hazardous materials.
  • Report a person driving in a reckless, careless or unsafe manner.

So, is texting as dangerous as driving drunk? You better believe it.

Statistics show that cell phone usage (for both phone calls and text messaging) is among the most prevalent of distractions resulting in vehicular accidents.

  • 13% of drivers 18-20 admitted to texting or talking on their cell phones at the time of the crash.
  • 34% say they have texted while driving at some point.
  • Text messaging while driving makes a crash 23 times more likely.

Despite these troubling statistics, 77% of young adults mistakenly believe they can safely text while driving.  However, the fact is that 5 seconds is the minimum amount of time a driver’s attention is taken away from the road while texting – at a speed of 55 mph, that’s equivalent to the length of a football field.

Texting while driving causes:

  • 1,600,000 accidents per year – National Safety Council
  • 330,000 injuries per year – Harvard Center for Risk Analysis Study
  • 11 teen deaths EVERY DAY – Insurance Institute for Highway Safety Fatality Facts
  • Nearly 25% of ALL car accidents

Texting while driving is:

  • About 6 times more likely to cause an accident than driving intoxicated.
  • The same as driving after 4 beers – National Highway Transportation Safety Administration
  • 23X more likely to lead to a crash – National Hwy Transportation Safety Administration
  • Is the same as driving blind for 5 seconds at a time – VA. Tech Transportation Institute.
  • Takes place by 800,000 drivers at any given time across the country.
  • Slows your brake reaction speed by 18% – Human Factors & Ergonomics Society.
  • Leads to a 400% increase with eyes off the road.

If you have been injured in a traffic accident, contact McDivitt Law Firm. One of our Colorado Injury accident lawyers is available to help you.  Call toll free 877-846-4878 for a free consultation, or click here for a free consultation form. Remember, you do not pay a fee until we collect money for you.

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