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Despite the mountain of evidence that texting while operating a motor vehicle is extremely dangerous, people do it. In Colorado, it is against the law for anyone under the age 18 to drive while using a mobile phone. See Colorado Revised Statutes 42-4-239. It is also against the law for anyone, regardless of his or her age, to operate a motor vehicle while texting. Id.
What's the big deal?
If that doesn't convince you that texting while driving is reckless behavior, you might need to read the reports from which the statistice were drawn.
When Colorado drivers cause accidents, law enforcement officers are usually called to the scene. If they can gather enough evidence, the law enforcement officers will describe how the accident occured and who was at fault in their reports. If they can determine who was at fault, they will issue the at-fault drivers citations. If they determine that the at-fault drivers were distracted while driving, they will usually cite the drivers for careless driving and indicate the drivers were distracted drivers immediately before the crash.
When personal injury lawyers get involved, we can investigate what happened in even greater detail. When we learn that the at-fault drivers were texting immediately prior to causing the crashes, that sort of evidence supports theories that the at-fault drivers were acting outrageously, recklessly, or maliciously while driving. And if they injured people as a result, those at-fault drivers could expose themselves to punitive damages in motor vehicle accident cases that proceed to jury trial.
The moral of the story is twofold. Don't text and drive because it puts your fellow drivers at serious risk. Don't text and drive because it puts you at serious risk too.
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