What Drivers Can Do to Keep Streets Safe
As we discussed in yesterday's post, we all have a hand in creating safe streets where there are no preventable traffic crashes. Whether you are behind the wheel in a car, riding a motorcycle, biking, or walking, we are all responsible for doing so in safe manner to protect ourselves and others. In particular, the decisions drivers make behind the wheel can have the largest impact on eliminating traffic deaths and serious injuries. Distracted and drunk driving are the major contributions to traffic deaths in Denver year after year. Distracted driving contributed to 14% of fatal and injury crashes in Denver, and driving under the influence caused 29% of fatal and injury crashes, according to the Colorado Department of Transportation (2015).
Vision Zero Denver is working on long-term prevention-based approaches to educate the community and provide resources. There are also efforts to work with law enforcement to equitably enforce traffic laws. However, we are the ones that can ultimately decide to not drive under the influence and to put our devices and distractions away while operating vehicles. If you are drinking or under the influence, it is very important to use a ride-share program or designated driver, take the bus, walk or just stay home. If you are behind the wheel, put your phone away. No text is worth your life or anyone else's.
It is one of the goals of Vision Zero Denver to decrease and eliminate crashes caused by drivers under the influence, but it also needs to be a goal for each and every one of us. To further decrease the prevalence of driving under the influence of alcohol and other drugs, Vision Zero is working with the city of Denver to consider reviving taxi stand program in areas of the city with high concentrations of drinking establishments. The full Denver Vision Zero action plan is available here.