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Colorado Driving Habits Survey Reveals Compelling Insights

Traffic fills Lincoln Avenue in July 2018. Steamboat Springs is entering one of the busiest summer weekends of the year. The Steamboat Mountain soccer tournament and Tour de Steamboat cycling event mean hotel rooms are hard to come by and many local restaurants are busier than usual.
John F. Russell / Steamboat Pilot and Today

Some of the findings revealed in the Colorado Department of Transportation’s 2022 Driver Behavior Survey were quite predictable, like how young people are less likely to wear their seat belts.

However, some of the results might be more surprising, such as how people who admit to driving over the speed limit were less likely to say they use their phone while driving.

The results of the survey, which compiles statistics on dangerous driving habits such as speeding, driving under the influence, not respecting seat belts and distracted driving, were published on Tuesday July 12. A total of 866 Coloradans responded to the survey, which was available from March 4 to April 24.

Among respondents who admitted they don’t always wear their seatbelt, 43% said a reminder such as a beep sound was the most common motivation to buckle up, while 30% said the possibility getting a ticket was the strongest motivation.

People of color were more than twice as likely, with 46% saying the possibility of getting a ticket was their main motivation for wearing a seatbelt, compared to 18% of people who identified their affiliation ethnic as being white saying the same thing.

“I think people of color are going to be more susceptible to racial profiling,” said Sam Cole, traffic safety officer at CDOT, which appointed Corona Insights, a market research firm, to conduct the investigation.

According to the survey, people say they are less likely to wear their seatbelts when traveling short distances. While 89% of respondents said they wore their seatbelts, only 80% said they wore one when driving less than two miles.

“What I found most alarming about the survey is that people are much less likely to become attached close to home,” Cole said. “We know that most accidents happen close to home.”

As expected, young people were less likely to buckle up than older people. Although 94% of people 65 or older said they wore a seatbelt all the time, only 77% of people aged 18-24 said they wore a seatbelt at least most of the time.

According to the survey, drivers feel more comfortable speeding on freeways with high speed limits than on local roads with low speed limits. At 59%, most drivers said they would be at least somewhat likely to get a ticket in a 30 mph zone, compared to 42% who said they were at least somewhat likely to get a ticket. ticket in a 65 mph zone.

Drivers who say they drive faster than the speed limit are less likely to say they use their phone while driving.

Among survey respondents who said they drove faster than the speed limit, only 51% said they used their phone while driving, compared to 77% among those who said they speeded at least some of the time.

Generally, respondents who reported speeding, not wearing their seatbelts, or consuming alcohol or cannabis within two hours of driving were also more likely to say they engaged in distracting activities on the road. road.

According to the survey, among the most common distractions people succumb to while driving were eating and drinking.

Only 13% of respondents said they had not eaten or drunk while driving in the past seven days.

Eating and drinking while driving are cited as the most common distraction by 36% of drivers surveyed. Interacting with an entertainment device such as a CD player, cell phone or radio was the second most common distraction, with 21% of drivers saying it was their most common activity.

Young adults are much more likely to use their phones while driving. Among drivers aged 24 to 34, 82% said they used their phone while driving, the highest percentage among all age categories. Among those aged 65 and over, 53% said they drive and use their phone.

Of those surveyed, 39% of drivers said they would feel safe driving within two hours of consuming a single alcoholic drink, while only 6% said they would feel safe driving after drinking three or more drinks.

According to the survey, low-income drivers feel less confident while drinking and driving. Among people with a household income of less than $50,000, 46% said they only felt safe driving after consuming zero alcoholic beverages, compared to just 30% of people with a household income of is higher.

Colorado drivers said they felt 54% less likely to get a DUI when driving under the influence of cannabis than 70% alcohol.

According to CDOT, vehicle-related fatalities involving impaired drivers have increased 73.8% so far in 2022 compared to the first six months of 2019.

So far, there have been 333 road deaths in Colorado in 2022, the fastest since 2002, when there were 677.

“We are seeing record numbers of deaths on our roads,” Cole said. “The indicators are not pointing in the right direction.”