Distracted Driving

A group of students and families gather at the Lumenati Productions warehouse for the distracted driving video contest celebration event.

Thank you to all who participated in the distracted driving video PSA contest!

In February, the Colorado Department of Transportation, in partnership with the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA), launched a statewide contest for high school students to create a distracted driving PSA. The contest received 12 entries from students across Colorado, each of which demonstrated creativity, hard work and a compelling message.
After an extensive judging process, we are proud to congratulate our finalists:

  • Kaileen Rudolph — Greeley — 1st place
  • Angel De La Paz — Lamar — 2nd place
  • Noah Reynolds — Denver — 2nd place
  • Adin Serota — Castle Rock — 3rd Place

We thank you all for your time and participation in this contest, and for your continued effort to prevent distracted driving on Colorado roads.

What is Distracted Driving?

Distracted driving is the act of driving while engaged in anything that takes your focus away from the road, including texting, looking after children or pets, talking on the phone or to a passenger, watching videos, eating or reading.

Multitasking is a myth. A person’s attention can switch back and forth between tasks quickly, but your optimal focus cannot be on two tasks at once. When you’re driving distracted, your attention is diverted from the road ahead, slowing reaction time and, with it, the ability to avoid hazards that can result in a crash.

Distracted Driving in Colorado

In 2020, 10,166 crashes involved a Colorado distracted driver, resulting in 1,476 injuries and 68 deaths. Even with these life-threatening consequences, more than 90% of Colorado drivers self-report driving distracted.

What is CDOT doing about Distracted Driving? Our latest campaign is Distraction Reactions, an effort designed to start shifting social norms by encouraging drivers to think twice before they pick up that phone.  To view the Spanish campaign, visit Racciones a la distracción.

Distracted Driving Nationwide

Distracted driving claims hundreds of lives each year across the United States. In 2019 alone, 3,142 lives were lost and roughly 400,000 people were injured due to the preventable decision to drive distracted. This includes such behaviors as eating while driving, turning to talk to passengers, using a phone, and more. Visit NHSTA’s Distracted Driving page for information on the national effort to save lives by ending distracted driving.

  • In 2020, 10,166 crashes involved a Colorado distracted driver, resulting in 1,476 injuries and 68 deaths.
  • In 2022, there were 103 deadly crashes involving drivers 20 years old and younger in Colorado. This is a 37% increase from 2019 when there were 75 fatal crashes involving drivers in the same age group.
  • In CDOT's 2021 annual mail survey of Colorado drivers, in the week prior to the survey
    • 91% of participants reported driving distracted in the past seven days.
    • 54% admitted to reading a message on their phones.
    • Nearly 50% talked on a cell phone while driving.
    • 41% sent a message while driving.

Data bar graph that represents the top distractions reported during fatal crashes in 2022. The bar graph is divided into two columns, with the left-hand column showing the distraction type and the right-hand column showing the percentage of participants having reported the distraction.

Data chart that represents drivers age 20 and younger involved in fatal crashes from 2018-2022, showing an increase from 81 to 103 over the course of four years.

Data bar graph that represents fatalities involving distracted drivers from 2011-2022, showing an increase in distracted driving fatalities.