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When you pick up your phone behind the wheel, you might have in your mind that you’d just like to put on a different song or that you want to tell your friend that your almost at their place. But the reality is you aren’t alone on the road and it only takes a few seconds to run off course and crash with another vehicle or object.

Colorado lawmakers understand the importance of keeping texting and driving separate activities. As such, it’s a violation of state law to text or use other mobile apps while driving. And when drivers violate this rule, they must pay a fine from $50 to $300 and they will receive points that negatively impact their driving record. While there are exceptions to this rule, it’s important to understand the dangers of distracted driving.

Are there exceptions?

Although it’s unlawful to text and drive when it comes to regular communication or phone use, it is okay to use your phone in order receive emergency help. Specifically, you can use your phone to text or call for help under the following conditions:

  • You are in fear of your life or your safety is at risk
  • You choose to report a fire, accident or other hazard on the road
  • You choose to report a reckless or unsafe driver

It’s also worth noting that if you are above the age of 18, you always have the option to use your phone to make calls while you are driving. However, texting and talking on the phone are both acts of distracted driving.

What’s the danger?

Using your phone in any manner while behind the takes your attention away from the main task at hand. According to the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration, there are three main types of distractions. This includes those that sidetrack your mind, those that force you to take your eyes off the road and those that force you to take your hands off the wheel. Texting or talking on the phone can be a sort of triple-threat, as it often requires you partake in all three types of distractions.

That’s why it’s important to take the exceptions to the Colorado phone use laws with caution. For example, maybe you do see a very dangerous fire brewing on the side of the highway. But, if you can’t safely pull out your phone to call 9-1-1, then it’s probably not worth putting more lives at risk by driving carelessly. It can be difficult to use logic over intuition in high-stress situations. But try to keep in mind that if you can safely pull over to address an emergency, then that will always be a better option than trying to juggle multiple thoughts and actions while driving.

Minimizing multitasking behind the wheel can prevent injury and save your life.