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Why Are Traffic Fatalities Spiking in Colorado?

Emergency personnel attending to a rollover accident.

Many states across the country aim to reduce road fatalities, but recently, fatal traffic accidents are only going one way, and that's up. Ever since the pandemic in 2019, there has been a spike in traffic deaths - including in Colorado. Research and data show three common causes of traffic fatalities, and unfortunately, they are all preventable.

Reasons for traffic deaths

As reported by Out There Colorado, 622 people died on the state's roads in 2020. Last year's number is even higher, with 691 traffic deaths. That's a 14 percent increase. So why are the numbers spiking? According to data, there are three frequent causes: speeding, impaired driving, and distracted driving.

  • Speeding. Data from the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) shows the state had 287 speeding-related fatalities in 2020, which is 20 percent more than in 2019. The risk of a driver losing control increases at high speeds and the force of impact. CDOT's Highway Safety Manager, Glenn Davis, says, "There is no excuse that can justify the loss of a life due to speeding." Safety officials are constantly trying to spread awareness about the dangers of speeding with educational campaigns and a higher presence of law enforcement, but more clearly needs to be done.
  • Impaired driving. When you've been drinking or using another substance, you're never okay to get behind the wheel. Your focus is not at 100 percent when you're under the influence, so a fatal crash is likely to occur. Impaired driving deaths have gone from 110 deaths in 2019 to 146 fatalities in just two years. CDOT implements four "E's" to try and reduce traffic deaths: Emergency, Engineering, Enforcement, and Emergency Care.
  • Distracted driving. A distracted driver is not a safe driver. When your attention is not focused on driving, accidents happen. In Colorado, it is illegal to text and drive, yet many drivers still look down at their phones. When they do so, they become unaware of what lies ahead, and sometimes it can be pedestrians or other cars.

Colorado fatal traffic accident statistics

In almost every category of traffic accidents, the number of deaths has increased since the pandemic. For example, there were 36 pedestrian deaths in 2019, and so far this year, there have already been 48 pedestrian fatalities in Colorado.

Motorcycle deaths are also at an all-time high. Out of all the vehicles on the road, motorcycles only make up about 5 percent, yet 101 motorcyclists have died this year.

The state set in motion the Strategic Highway Safety Plan in 2013 to reduce the number of road deaths by 15 percent by 2023, but reckless and negligent drivers have set Colorado back. The safety plan is still underway as well as other tactics to decrease traffic fatalities. Campaigns like "Click It or Ticket" and "It's Not Complicated" spread awareness to drivers that reckless driving and impaired driving can ultimately lead to death.

How a Colorado Springs car accident attorney can help

Traffic accidents caused by negligent drivers should be taken seriously. They can cause severe injuries and, in worst-case scenarios, death. If you or a loved one were injured in a Colorado Springs car accident, protect your rights and review your potential legal options by calling The Longo Firm, LLC.

Our legal team can work with you to build a strong case and demand the money you rightfully deserve after a serious or fatal Colorado car accident. To learn more, contact us and schedule a free consultation today.

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