Take the Pledge: April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month

From Hottman Law Office – The Cyclist Lawyer

(A special thanks to our friend Russell, for posing for this photo. Don’t worry, the car is not in motion!)

By Maureen & Megan

Cyclist John Kirby was riding in the bike lane in Parker, Colorado in November 2017 when he was hit and killed by an alleged distracted Cyclist John Kirby was riding in the bike lane in Parker, Colorado in November 2017 when he was hit and killed by an alleged distracted driver.

According to the arrest affidavit, the driver became distracted when she “looked down to push the off button on the vehicle’s stereo,” to turn off an incoming call. That’s when she veered into the bike lane hitting Kirby.

Any activity that could divert a driver’s attention away from the primary task of driving is distracted driving. This includes the use of cell phones and electronics and eating or drinking. If, while driving, you are entering information into your navigation system, changing radio stations or typing a text message, you are distracted.

It’s negligent, unsafe and puts others at risk, especially cyclists on roadways.

Not surprisingly, distracted driving is on the rise nationwide, especially with more people using cell phones. According to The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 3,477 people were killed in motor vehicle crashes due to distracted driving in 2015.

The Colorado Department of Transportation reports that:

– Distracted drivers cause an average of 40 crashes every day in Colorado.
– Sixty seven deaths in 2016 involved Colorado distracted drivers.

Our office has handled numerous cases where distractions involving a cell phone were either strongly suspected or were absolutely involved in causing the collision.

One of Megan’s most common practices is to check social media for photos the at-fault driver has taken on their phone while in the car (has anyone else noticed this bizarre trend of taking selfies of oneself sitting in the driver’s seat with the seatbelt on?). Megan has used these photos to argue that the driver frequently used, touched, messed with, and operated a phone while in the vehicle. (A special thanks to our friend Russell, for posing for this photo. Don’t worry, the car is not in motion!).

 

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