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Crashes Involving Teen Drivers on the Rise in Colorado

According to the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT), the number of young drivers involved in fatal crashes has spiked in the last two years. From 2015—2016, Colorado averaged 64 young drivers involved in crashes per year. From 2016—2017, the average increased 34% to 86. As Denver auto accident lawyers, we are committed to educating our clients and their families on safe driving practices.

Noting that teen drivers’ inexperience makes them among the most dangerous on the road, the CDOT has launched an updated safety campaign to encourage teens to adopt safer driving practices and abide by the laws of Colorado’s Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL).

Colorado’s GDL Law

Colorado’s GDL Law prohibits newly licensed drivers from traveling with passengers younger than 21 for the first six months. After that, one passenger younger than 21 is permitted until the end of the first year. The law also bans the use of cellphones for drivers younger than 18 and makes not wearing a seat belt a primary traffic offense.

CDOT Teen Safety Campaign

The campaign targets GDL-licensed teens, ages 15-18, via popular social media outlets like Snapchat, Instagram, and Facebook, and aims to educate them on the three primary GDL issues: passenger limits; cellphone distractions; and seat belt usage. As part of the campaign, the CDOT created a series of videos promoting the event of a fictional sale known as the “GDL Resale.” Each video depicts a scenario in which a teenager’s refusal to obey GDL laws has forced a parent to sell their child’s car. The videos will run on social media through the first week of September.

Safety Tips for Teen Drivers

Distracted driving is as dangerous as driving while impaired, and has become a major public health problem, killing several thousand people a year. Teen drivers are particularly prone to distracting driving. Currently, 48 states, including Colorado ban text messaging for all drivers. Although adult drivers are permitted to use cell phones for voice calls in Colorado, any driver under 18 years of age is prohibited from using a cell phone for any purpose (except to contact a public safety entity or during an emergency) while driving. More information on teen driving safety is available on the CDOT website.

How Denver Auto Accident Lawyers Can Help You

If you have questions about the CDOT safety campaign for teen drivers, or you or a loved one have been involved in a car accident and are considering a personal injury action, we welcome you to contact us, by email or phone at 303-333-8000 to schedule a free consultation.

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