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As you may know, I have been working for several years with Colorado Senator Lois Court to pass stricter texting-while-driving laws in Colorado. As these things typically go, we’ve had to tackle this process in small steps, but we are starting to get excited about our chances this year to pass much tougher laws, which will make it illegal for anyone to hold a mobile device while driving. (If you’re interested to know where the law stands as you read this article, check out Senate Bill 2019-12, “Use of Electronic Mobile Devices While Driving.”)
Of course, I’ve heard from a lot of people who both support and disagree with this proposed law. However, there aren’t many (any?) people who disagree with this fundamental fact: texting while driving is dangerous. Rather, the people who disagree with hands free driving laws typically say that they need productive drive time to get their jobs or other work done. I understand this dilemma. While I would love to turn back the clock to a time when our biggest distraction on the road were the French fries we just bought at the golden arches, I know that there is no going back.
Therefore, I thought I would write an article about how everyone – no matter the age of their car – can drive hands-free in Colorado. (I’m going to assume that, if you want to drive and use a phone, you have a relatively new smartphone.)
Now, I wouldn’t be doing my duty as someone who passionately wants to create safer roads in Colorado if I didn’t tell you that the very best way to diminish distractions in your car is to turn your phone off while you’re driving. Even hands-free devices are distracting. The National Safety Council has conducted over 30 studies and all of them found that, while a hands-free device allows you to look at the road more and to use both hands to drive, it does not improve your “cognitive distraction” level. Meaning, your brain is still focused on the device.
If you have any questions about this article, or if you would like to learn more about the Colorado Senate bill that I’m working on, please call or text me at 303-388-5304. You can also learn more about texting and driving in Colorado here.