CDOT, local celebrities share creative auto replies to curb distracted driving

April 24, 2019 - April is National Distracted Driving Awareness Month

STATEWIDE  According to the Colorado Department of Transportation’s (CDOT) annual mail survey of Colorado drivers, more than 90 percent of participants reported driving distracted in the past week. Unfortunately, many drivers are unaware of existing tools on their phones to prevent this dangerous habit.

As part of its Get Turned On campaign, CDOT is encouraging drivers to turn on their phone’s Do Not Disturb While Driving mode to prevent incoming distractions. Once enabled, the feature blocks incoming text messages and other notifications.

When a driver using Do Not Disturb receives a text message, the sender will get an automated reply from the driver. This default auto-reply can be customized — a feature CDOT is showcasing with an interactive online “auto-reply generator” tool on the agency’s website. Users can browse a series of lifestyle categories and traits and choose a unique auto-reply with which they identify. View the auto-reply generator tool at

“Whether you’re an outdoor enthusiast, busy parent, music lover or sports fan, we wanted to create options that people resonate with and can have fun with,” said Sam Cole, traffic safety communications manager for CDOT. “We want to highlight the fact that there are tools out there to help drivers reduce distractions — but the first step is using them and taking responsibility for your habits.”

A few examples of auto-replies from the online generator include:

  • For the outdoor adventurer: The mountains are calling… but I can't answer right now bc I'm driving. I'll reply when I'm off the road!
  • For the mindful yogi: Namaste off my phone so I can drive without distractions. I’ll reply when I’m off the road!
  • For the ski bum: I get sendy on the slopes, but not on the road. I’ll hit you up before I hit the lift!

CDOT has also partnered with local celebrity advocates and influencers who use Do Not Disturb While Driving to share their auto replies and further raise awareness for the campaign. Celebrities involved in the campaign include local media personalities Jayson Luber and Kathy Sabine.

“Every day, I see first-hand the effects of distracted driving,” said Jayson Luber, traffic anchor for Denver7 news. “It’s disappointing to me that I am still reporting about minor to serious crashes and even fatal crashes all caused by someone distracted by eating, drinking or using their phone while driving.”

CDOT offers a variety of resources and app suggestions on its website to help Coloradans become distraction-free drivers, no matter what type of phone they use. The agency aims to educate motorists about the dangers of distracted driving through statewide education and outreach. For more information about distracted driving in Colorado and to learn more about the Get Turned On campaign, visit

To heighten safety awareness, CDOT recently announced its Whole System Whole Safety initiative. This project takes a systematic statewide approach to safety combining the benefits of CDOT’s programs that address human factors, physical assets and organizational culture to better support real time operations. The goal is to improve the safety of Colorado’s transportation network by reducing the rate and severity of crashes and improving safety conditions for those traveling by all transportation modes. The program has one simple mission - to get everyone home safely.

About CDOT

CDOT has approximately 3,000 employees located throughout Colorado, and manages more than 23,000 lane miles of highway and 3,429 bridges. CDOT also manages grant partnerships with a range of other agencies, including metropolitan planning organizations, local governments and airports. It also administers Bustang, the state-owned and operated interregional express service. Gov. Jared Polis has charged CDOT to further build on the state’s intermodal mobility options.