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Understanding Colorado's Laws About Distracted Driving

Posted on in Car Accident

CO accident lawyerIt is very well-known that distracted driving is dangerous. A driver who allows virtual goings-on to take his attention from the road around him is putting everyone in his vicinity at risk. Driving while manually using a cell phone is not only risky, but it is also illegal in Colorado in many instances. While drivers may use their phones for the limited purpose of voice calling or in an emergency situation, it is generally not legal to drive with a cell phone in hand. If a driver who causes an accident can be shown to have been breaking a traffic safety law, they may be automatically considered negligent in causing your injuries. The legal concept of negligence per se effectively provides a shortcut to proving negligence in this situation. Breaking a law that is in place to keep people safe certainly appears to reflect a disregard for the safety of others. If you were injured by a driver who appears to have been texting or manually operating their cell phone, we may be able to help you recover compensation.

Is it Legal to Drive While Using a Cell Phone in Colorado?

Colorado drivers are permitted to use cell phones only in very limited circumstances. First, it is legal to use a cell phone for voice calls. Voice calling without the use of hands, while possibly a bit distracting, does not require a driver to take their eyes off the road. What is not legal is to manually enter data, such as by typing, and transmitting, such as by actually sending a text. However, drivers who are minors are not permitted to use a cell phone even for the purpose of voice calling.

There are a few notable exceptions to Colorado’s cell phone rules, mainly pertaining to emergency situations. Drivers may use their cell phones if they need to reach out to public safety officials, and if an emergency arises. Emergencies are dangerous situations. The definition of an emergency includes situations where the driver:

  • Reasonably fears for his safety
  • Believes a crime against a person is about to be committed
  • Sees a serious road hazard, or
  • Sees a dangerous driver

In these situations, drivers are allowed to use their cell phones. However, these are fairly limited circumstances. If the driver who hit you did not have a legitimate emergency, they will most likely be considered negligent for breaking a safety law.

Contact a Larimer County Distracted Driving Accident Attorney

Hoggatt Law Office, P.C. is committed to helping the victims of distracted drivers recover the compensation they need. Our experienced Fort Collins distracted driving accident lawyers will strive to get you every dollar you are entitled to. Call 970-225-2190 for a free consultation.

 

Sources:

https://www.courts.state.co.us/userfiles/file/Court_Probation/Supreme_Court/Committees/Civil_Jury_Instructions_Committee/2018/Chapter%209.pdf

https://leg.colorado.gov/content/distracted-driving-and-cell-phone-use

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Hoggatt Law Office, P.C.

970-225-2190 | 1-800-664-3151

123 North College Avenue, Suite 160,
Fort Collins, CO 80524

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Greeley, Colorado 80634 |
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