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2018 set record for fatalities caused by car accidents

Patricia M. Jarzobski

It was a record the city didn't want to set, but unfortunately, it did. Last year became the deadliest year on record for deaths caused by car accidents in Colorado Springs. An alarming 48 people lost their lives in traffic-related accidents on Colorado Springs' roadways in 2018.

According to reports, 23 people lost their lives in car accidents, four people were on bicycles, and eight were on motorcycles. A staggering 13 pedestrians were killed as well, which ties the record for pedestrian deaths. This surprising statistic highlights the importance of being cautious and aware of one's surroundings even when not behind the wheel of a car. Of the 13 pedestrian fatalities, the pedestrians themselves were found at fault in 11 of the cases. This is likely due to distraction – usually cell phones – and the assumption that vehicles will choose to and be able to yield to pedestrians that enter the roadway.

Most would assume that the majority of car accidents occur at night when visibility is reduced. In reality, these accidents occurred at all times of the day and night. Of the accidents leading to the 48 deaths, 14 occurred during daytime hours and 13 in the evening. Only 21, less than half, occurred at night.

The city is eager to turn things around in 2019. So far this year, there has been an average of one death per week, which would set a new record if the pattern continues throughout the year. In an effort to change this, police are working hard to enforce driving laws and make their presence known on the roadways.

Distracted driving has become a huge problem thanks to cell phones. Drunk driving also continues to take the lives of innocent victims. If patterns are going to change, it is ultimately up to the drivers, riders and pedestrians who use Colorado Springs roadways. The increase in car accidents results in an increased number of traffic-related lawsuits. Surviving victims or the families of deceased victims can file a civil claim against at-fault drivers for damages they have suffered as a result of that driver's negligence.

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