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Distracted driving is a problem: These Colorado laws address it

Distracted driving is a serious concern no matter what time of year it is, but during the summer there are more young drivers and teens on the roads who may make the mistake of not paying attention. Distracted driving is a common occurrence, and it's not just young drivers who participate in it. They are more likely to take risks, though, which is why it's important for them to understand the true danger of driving while distracted.

While most people think of distracted driving as using a cellphone to text or call while behind the wheel, it actually includes a number of activities. Eating behind the wheel, putting on makeup and even changing radio channels can cause you to be distracted and a danger to yourself and others.

Colorado has specific laws that dictate who can do what on the roads. Did you know that those under 18 are not allowed to use a cellphone while operating a vehicle? Those over 18 are not allowed to use a phone to text while behind the wheel, in comparison. Texting, in other words, is banned regardless of age, but adults may talk on the phone while driving. Colorado has no "hands-free" law, so drivers may use a hand to hold the cellphone.

Another thing you cannot do behind the wheel is wear headphones. Why? It makes it harder to hear what is happening around you. You may not hear emergency sirens, honking horns or other signals that you need to react to.

If you are injured as a result of a distracted driver, you're not alone. Many people don't know these rules or choose to ignore them. You have a right to seek out compensation in the case that you're hurt as a result of someone else's carelessness.

Source: Post Independent, "A look at the dangers of distracted driving," Kefren Tester, May 13, 2017

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