Every state has laws in place related to distracted driving. These laws mostly came into effect after the proliferation of mobile devices, particularly smartphones. Here, we want to examine some of the Colorado distracted driving laws currently in place, as well as discuss other types of distracted driving that are not regulated by state law.
When we examine information available from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), we see that distracted driving encompasses anything that takes a person’s attention away from the activity of driving. This can include individuals taking their eyes off the road, their hands off the wheel, or their mind off of driving. More often, it is a combination of those three things.
In Colorado, the main focus on distracted driving laws revolves around the use of mobile devices. In this state, any adult driver is allowed to use their cell phone to make voice calls while they are operating a vehicle, but they are prohibited from inputting text data into the cell phone. This includes text input for the purposes of text messages, browsing social media, using a search engine, etc.
The law says that drivers under the age of 18 are prohibited from using a cell phone for any purpose while the vehicle is in motion, or they face the risk of being fined or losing their license.
However, when it comes to distracted driving, those are the only laws specifically on the books. As we know, mobile phones are not the only causes of distraction behind the wheel. Individuals can also be distracted if they are eating or drinking while driving, applying makeup, reaching for items in the back seat, messing with pets in the car, talking to friends, etc.
Even though the only law related to distracted driving revolves around mobile devices, individuals who are distracted by other means could still face legal trouble if they are charged with reckless driving under Colorado law Section 42-4-1401. Under this law, it is illegal for any person to operate their vehicle in a manner that indicates a “wonton or a willful disregard for the safety of persons or property…”
If you or somebody you care about has been injured in an accident involving a distracted driver, you need to work with an attorney as soon as possible. One of the challenges of distracted driving claims is actually proving that the other driver was distracted. Sometimes, these cases devolve into one driver’s story against the other driver’s story.
Proving that a driver was distracted can occur in a few ways. First, law enforcement officials will come to the scene to investigate the incident. They will speak to other drivers and passengers involved as well as any eyewitnesses who may have seen what happened. Sometimes, this is enough to establish that the at-fault driver was indeed distracted. However, that may not be enough. There may be surveillance footage on nearby cameras that could be helpful.
Additionally, a Denver car accident attorney may need to go over the court system to obtain mobile device records or vehicle black box data in order to determine whether or not the at-fault driver was distracted behind the wheel.