CDOT releases 2022 Colorado Driver Behavior Survey

Traffic Safety Pulse News

The Colorado Department of Transportation is releasing results from its 2022 Driver Behavior Survey, which provides a snapshot of how often people speed, drive impaired, buckle up and drive distracted. Motorcycle safety habits were also addressed. While the incidence of some self-reported behaviors decreased, results show that some Coloradans are still making choices that put other drivers, pedestrians and themselves at risk. 

Driver Behavior Survey

The complete 2022 CDOT Driving Behavior Survey results are available at:

"A number of the behaviors reported by drivers undoubtedly contributed to the rise in traffic fatalities last year. This survey helps CDOT understand what is actually happening on our roads so we can adjust our awareness and outreach efforts accordingly,” said CDOT's Office of Transportation Safety Director Darrell Lingk. "These are personal choices drivers make, and we're asking everyone to be accountable and drive like their lives depend on it."

Seat Belt Use

While most respondents (89%) said they wear their seat belt all the time, one out of five Colorado drivers said they buckled up less frequently when driving close to home. Seat belt use dropped to 80% when taking a trip within two miles. Other key findings include:

  • Half of Colorado drivers said they would be unlikely to get a ticket if they did not use their seat belt at all while driving.
  • Study data shows that seat belt use rates increased an average of 3.5 percentage points when High Visibility Enforcement Periods were active.
  • Among those who reported not always wearing a seat belt, having a vehicle seat belt reminder was the most common reason they said would influence them to buckle up.  


Colorado drivers were less likely to speed on neighborhood roads than on highways.  Most Colorado drivers said they drive over the speed limit on main highways (73%) and local highways (71%) at least some of the time. However, this dropped to half (50%) of drivers when considering main city/town roads and less than a third (28%) when considering neighborhood roads with speed limits of 25-35 MPH. Also:

  • Drivers who reported using their cell phone while driving and those who had driven within 2 hours of consuming alcohol said they exceeded the speed limit more frequently than others.
  • 59% of drivers said they would be at least somewhat likely to be stopped by police if they consistently drove over the speed limit on a local road where the speed limit is 30 MPH.  

Distracted Driving

The most common distractions while driving were eating and drinking, selecting entertainment by hand, and talking on a phone. Respondents reported the following behaviors “at least sometimes in the last seven days of driving.” Also:

  • 62% of Colorado drivers said they ate food or drank beverages.
  • 57% said they selected entertainment on a cellphone, CD player, radio or other device.  
  • 28% reported reading messages on their phone.
  • 17% reported sending messages on their phone. 
  • About half of drivers who use their phone while driving said they would stop doing so if their car had a hands free feature.

Impaired Driving

One of every five respondents reported driving a motor vehicle within two hours of consuming alcohol. However, fewer Coloradans believe that they would receive a DUI for driving under the influence of cannabis (54%) than alcohol (70%). Also: 

  • 21% said they drove a motor vehicle within two hours of drinking alcohol in the last 30 days. 
  • 2% said they did this on six or more of those days
  • 7% said they used cannabis and 3% said they used prescription medication that might impair their judgment within two hours of driving.” 
  • 9% said they “somewhat or strongly agreed” that they could drive safely under the influence of alcohol — down slightly from 15% in 2021. 
  • As in previous years, Colorado drivers thought people would be more likely to get a DUI if they drove under the influence of alcohol (70%) than cannabis (54%).

Motorcycle Safety

Among people who ride motorcycles, three out of four (74%) said they wear a helmet all the time. Also: 

  • About one out of ten (8%) motorcycle riders said they never wear a helmet.
  • Drivers who said they always wear their seatbelt were also more likely to say they wear a helmet all the time (82%) than those who did not (40%).
  • Nearly two out of three drivers (65%) said they give motorcycles extra space when following all the time and 92% said they did this at least most of the time.

CDOT conducts the yearly survey of Colorado residents to assess trends in traffic safety and better understand attitudes and behaviors of the state’s drivers. Questions include self-reported driver behaviors on impaired driving, distracted driving, speeding and seat belt use.