Look around you at the next intersection you are stopped at. More than likely, if drivers are looking away from the road, they are looking down at their cell phones. They are not focused on the road, the stoplight, or activity around them. They are focused on their phone – be it a site, a text, a message, or any other possible cell phone activity.
Common sense tells us that people perform poorly at driving while they are texting or dialing a phone. Despite knowing this and laws against distracted driving, people still look at and talk on the cell phone in Colorado. A significant amount of drivers confess that they use their phones while operating their vehicle. To make things worse, a good percentage eat, drink, smoke, fiddle with the radio, and read maps.
We all have done it. Juries understand the situation. That is, they understand inherently that a texting driver is a distracted driver. We know and acknowledge the safety risk. Every day, thousands of people across the country are injured in accidents where the at-fault driver was distracted. Those are just distracted statistics. Many more are injured on the roads and highways from other accidents.
Texting or emailing use while driving may still be a traffic offense for all. Nonetheless, since Coloradoans almost all do it, the Colorado legislature has been reluctant to make texting and driving a heavily penalized crime. A year ago, the Colorado Senate responded to an introduced and heightened penalty bill, the Use of Mobile Electronic Devices While Driving, by amending its proposed classification to be a traffic infraction (fine only), apart from cell phone restrictions on minors. In short, the bill was defeated in a House committee. The criminal law does not diminish the civil liability for causing a collision.
The point is that the general population is not yet ready to heavily penalize such common and dangerous activities. But for those injured by distracted drivers, there is civil recourse.
As an attorney that handles injury cases, as well as, traffic defense cases, I focus on health and safety standards. The consequences to the distracted driver and others can be catastrophic. Be safe. And, if you are injured by a distracted driver, call an attorney today at (303) 359-1869.