CDOT unveils display at Stanley Marketplace featuring stories of distracted driving victims

Local News

AURORA, Colo. (KDVR) — Every year in Colorado, 15,000 crashes are caused by distracted drivers, and that number is going up all the time

“Distracted Driving continues to be a dangerous issue on Colorado roads,” said CDOT Communications Manager Sam Cole. “An average of 42 crashes a day involve a distracted driver and the consequences can be truly life-changing.”

On Wednesday, CDOT unveiled a life-size car dashboard display at Stanley Marketplace that allows people to look through the windshield and experience the true stories of people injured or killed in distracted driving crashes. The display aims to educate drivers on the devastating impacts that distracted driving can have on our roads.

Designed to look like the front seat of a car, visitors can stand behind the steering wheel and look through the windshield, just as if they were driving. Instead of the road ahead, they will see what they should be focused on while driving: real people, with real stories of grief. 

A screen behind the windshield will highlight the stories of four distracted driving victims, each of whom has been personally impacted by the actions of a distracted driver.

“Every time I see a distracted driver my first thought is to get as far away from them as possible,” said Susan Dane, founder of Coloradans Organized for Responsible Driving. “My second thought is to ask, ‘Is it worth it?’ I lost two friends to a distracted driver, there’s no reason for more lives to be lost due to distracted driving.”

Dane will never forget the day her friends were killed by a distracted driver while riding their motorcycle.

“Years ago we had a husband-and-wife couple that were friends of ours that were riding a motorcycle on a sunny Saturday afternoon and a woman reading a text message, she was looking down at her phone, cross the double yellow line and hit them head-on and killed them instantly,” said Dane. “Basically took out a family in one swoop.”

Just over the past three years, distracted driving crashes have spiked by almost 3,000.

“We do realize that for a lot of people it’s like an addiction, they cannot put down the phone for 20 minutes, they need to get past that addiction,” said Cole.

“It’s a choice, using mobile devices when driving as a choice,” said Dane. “We don’t have to use them, so when people make that choice to use them they need to realize the danger and they are putting everyone in.”

For more information about distracted driving in Colorado and to learn more about the Distraction Reactions campaign, visit: distracted.codot.gov.

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