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Study Reveals Reckless Driving as the Most Common Violation After Fatal Crashes

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A Colorado Springs car accident lawyer examines the problem.

Fatal car accidents often result in the at-fault driver being charged with reckless driving, according to a recent traffic safety study reported by Claims Journal about the most common traffic violations after fatal car crashes.

When it comes to reckless driving charges related to car accident fatalities, Colorado was the state where drivers were most likely to be charged with reckless driving compared to other states nationwide.

Colorado issues the most reckless driving violations for fatal crashes

The study highlighted in a recent Claims Journal article examined which traffic violations drivers were charged with the most after being involved in a fatal car accident between 2012 and 2021.

Of the 507,728 drivers involved in fatal car accidents nationwide during that period, 23,663 drivers were charged with reckless or careless driving, Claims Journal reported. That’s 4.6 percent of all drivers and the most for any traffic violation related to a car accident death.

The state that issued the most reckless driving violations after a deadly crash was Colorado. Specifically, 16 percent of drivers were cited for reckless driving between 2012 and 2021 in all fatal car crashes. The next highest states were Nevada (14.9 percent) and New Jersey (13.8 percent), Claims Journal reported.

Other common traffic violations involving car accident fatalities

After reckless driving, the most common traffic violations issued to drivers in fatal car accidents nationwide were:

  • License or registration violations, such as driving without a valid driver’s license – 19,888 violations nationwide or 3.9 percent of all traffic violations issued to drivers after car accident fatalities. New Hampshire issued the most violations.
  • Driving under the influence of alcohol or other drugs – 13,429 violations or 2.64 percent of violations. Nevada came in first.
  • Turning violations – 6,698 violations or 1.3 percent.
  • Driving on the wrong side of the road – 5,960 violations or 1.1 percent.
  • Speeding – 4,252 violations or 0.8 percent.

Car accident deaths in Colorado on the rise

Even though Colorado issued the most reckless driving violations, the number of car accident fatalities has continued to increase in recent years. In 2022, for example, Colorado recorded its highest roadway death toll in 41 years, according to the Colorado Department of Transportation.

Specifically, 754 people died in Colorado car accidents in 2022, which was 57 percent higher than a decade earlier based on car accident fatality data compiled by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

The numbers were slightly better in 2023 when an estimated 712 people lost their lives in car accidents in Colorado, according to Fox 21 News. Even so, last year’s numbers were still significantly higher than any year since 2012 (other than 2022).

Holding reckless drivers accountable

Dealing with a serious or fatal car accident in Colorado can be extremely challenging for many different reasons. Sometimes, it’s because the at-fault driver denies doing anything wrong. Other times, it’s insurance companies that stand in the way and refuse to pay victims the money they rightfully deserve.

Whatever the circumstances of your particular case, a Colorado Springs car accident lawyer from The Longo Firm, LLC can help you every step of the way. We have an in-depth understanding of how the legal system works in Colorado. That’s why we have such a strong track record of success.

Get the Colorado Springs law firm you want fighting for you. Contact us and schedule a free and confidential case evaluation with a Colorado Springs car accident attorney you can trust to put your best interests first. We handle car accident claims throughout Colorado and Arizona.

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