Monday, March 6, 2017

22 Percent of Coloradans Admit to Reading Messages While Driving

New CDOT Survey Reveals Other Dangerous Roadway Behaviors

A new statewide driver survey finds that almost a quarter of Coloradans admit to reading a text, email or social post on their phones while driving. The survey also finds that nearly 40 percent of adult drinkers drove within two hours of drinking alcohol; and regarding seat belts, pickup truck drivers are less likely to buckle up, especially on local roads. The information was compiled from 845 surveys mailed to Colorado residents in November 2016 by the Colorado Department of Transportation.

The survey assesses Colorado residents’ attitudes and behaviors related to seat belt use, speeding, distracted driving and alcohol, marijuana and prescription medication use. Highlights of the survey include:

· The number of people who drive over the speed limit is increasing — 69 percent of respondents admit to speeding in the 2016 survey, up from 65 percent in 2014.
· 45 percent of Coloradans said they sped some of the time and 24 percent sped all or most of the time.

Seat Belts:
· Coloradans whose primary vehicle was a pickup truck were most likely to say they never wear seat belts — a large majority wear them on highways (91 percent) and fewer wear them on local roads (73 percent).
· Regarding enforcement of the seat belt law, 65 percent of respondents say that non-seat belt use should be a primary violation.
· Most people who did not buckle up thought a reminder, such as a buzzer, would help them remember to buckle up.

Distracted Driving:
· 22 percent said they had read a message on a device and 15 percent wrote a message on a device while driving at least sometimes in the week before the survey.
· 62 percent reported at least sometimes selecting entertainment on an iPod, CD player, radio or other device while driving in the week prior to the survey

Impaired Driving:
· 38 percent of respondents who drank alcoholic beverages drove a motor vehicle within two hours of drinking
· 57 percent of those who used marijuana drove a motor vehicle within two hours after consuming marijuana.
· On average, those who drove after drinking did so on 2.8 of 30 days
· On average, those who drove after consuming marijuana did so on 11.7 of 30 days.
· 73 percent would feel comfortable driving after having one or two drinks in a two-hour period.

“This survey provides us with a good but disturbing snapshot of what is actually happening on Colorado roadways,” said Darrell Lingk, Director of the Office of Transportation Safety at CDOT. “It will help us design and implement our traffic safety campaigns to address these dangerous behaviors.”

In 2016, there were 607 fatalities on Colorado roadways, which is up 24 percent in the last two years. Statewide seat belt use decreased from 85 to 84 percent last year — well below the national average of 90 percent. Unbuckled fatalities accounted for nearly half of all passenger vehicle deaths. Alcohol related-fatalities contributed to nearly one-third of the state’s traffic fatality total.

The full survey results are available at: