Safety

CDOT’s Drop the Distraction Campaign Returns for Awareness Month

Traffic Safety Pulse Newsletter - April 2018

April marks the start of National Distracted Driving Awareness Month, an issue posing a serious safety threat on Colorado's roads. In 2016, 67 traffic fatalities in Colorado involved distracted drivers, and driver distraction behind the wheel continues to be an issue across all age groups. Between 2012 and 2015, 29 percent of at-fault distracted driving crashes involved drivers aged 21-30 years old, 17.5 percent involved drivers 31-40 years old and 13 percent involved drivers 41-50 years old.

Furthermore, in a 2017 survey of Colorado drivers, 58 percent of respondents admitted to being distracted by some form of entertainment while driving, 25 percent said they have talked on a handheld phone, and almost 19 percent said they have read messages on their phone while driving. These survey results further highlight the pervasiveness of phone use behind the wheel.

CDOT’s Drop the Distraction campaign returns in April to encourage Colorado drivers to eliminate their phone use when driving. Later this month, CDOT will unveil the Get Turned On campaign creative, encouraging drivers to activate the Do Not Disturb While Driving function on their iPhones and other prevention apps on Android devices. In September 2017, Apple released iOS11 with a Do Not Disturb While Driving feature built directly into the phone’s settings. Once enabled, the phone will either turn on the Do Not Disturb While Driving feature when the phone senses the user is in motion or when the phone connects to a vehicle's entertainment system.

Phone calls are delivered using the same conditions as standard Do Not Disturb: You can allow calls only from your favorites and/or allow calls to come through if the same person calls twice in a row. If your iPhone connects to your car via Bluetooth, calls will come through as usual, and you can use your car's buttons, microphones, and speakers to take your call. Incoming texts will generate an auto-reply message to the sender and will be delivered once the user is no longer driving. Learn more about Do Not Disturb While Driving and other distracted driving prevention resources at distraction.codot.gov.