Distracted Driving by Uber Drivers Using Cell Phones in Colorado: Proving the Accident Link


Distracted driving is a serious issue, especially for rideshare drivers who are constantly using their cell phones for navigation and communicating with passengers while driving. Recent data in Colorado suggests there may be a link between distracted Uber drivers and increased accidents. This article will examine the evidence on distracted Uber drivers in Colorado and whether it conclusively proves they cause more accidents.

Statistics on Distracted Driving Accidents in Colorado

According to data from the Colorado Department of Transportation, 90% of drivers self-report being distracted while driving and distracted driving contributes to many fatal crashes in the state each year. Studies have shown that interacting with a cell phone makes a driver 3 to 4 times more likely to get into a crash. For Uber drivers specifically, there is evidence that distracted driving is common. One observational study found that Uber drivers spent on average 17% of their time using their cell phone while transporting passengers. With so much cell phone use behind the wheel, it’s reasonable to hypothesize there may be more accidents.

Linking Distracted Driving to Accidents Among Uber Drivers

While there is data showing significant cell phone use by Uber drivers in Colorado, conclusively linking this to increased accidents is more challenging. Some studies have drawn connections between rideshare driving and higher crash rates in certain cities, but the link to cell phone distraction specifically is difficult to prove.

Accident reports don’t always specify what the driver was doing at the time, and self-reported data from drivers is also unreliable. Currently, in Colorado, there is no conclusive data that shows Uber drivers cause a disproportionate share of accidents directly attributable to cell phone distraction compared to other drivers. More research is needed that specifically investigates cell phone use as a cause of rideshare driver accidents in the state.

The Inconclusiveness of Current Data

While observational studies show drivers frequently interacting with cell phones, this does not always prove they are distracted while driving or that it leads to crashes. Accident reports lack details on cell phone use needed to attribute distraction as the cause. Finally, Colorado currently lacks comprehensive studies investigating cell phone distraction as a contributor to rideshare driver crashes specifically. While a connection is plausible, more targeted research is required to conclusively prove the link between distracted Uber drivers on cell phones and increased accidents in the state.

Distracted driving, especially related to cell phones, is an issue among Uber drivers in Colorado. However, current data cannot conclusively prove the link between Uber drivers’ cell phone use and increased accidents. There is a need for further research that records rideshare driver cell phone behavior in vehicles, thoroughly investigates distraction as a cause in rideshare driver accidents, and analyzes accident patterns before and after interventions to reduce cell phone distraction. This could help conclusively establish the relationship in order to inform effective policies to improve road safety. In the meantime, Uber should still consider policies like limiting phone use in trip modes to protect drivers and passengers in Colorado.

If you’ve been involved in an accident while in an Uber and are suffering, and you know the driver was distracted by his or her cell phone, contact an Uber accident lawyer at Monge and Associates. We have offices in 32 locations across 19 states. Call now for a free consultation on (888) 477-0597 if you need advice.

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