In a report published in 2019, the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) reviewed ten years’ worth of crashes in the state. CDOT’s analysis is a guide for safety efforts since then to make the roads safer. It is important to understand the historical trends in accident data to see what improvements were made and how effective they were.
Six years of rising fatal crashes
From 2011 through 2017, fatal crashes rose from 447 to 648, with notable increases in 2015, 2016 and 2017. The high fatality numbers are even more concerning when reviewed closely by specific type of crash:
- Motorcycle fatalities rose 18.4%
- Pedestrian fatalities rose 84%
- Bicyclist fatalities rose 33.3%
- Young driver fatalities rose 59.6%
The largest single rising fatality class was the number of crashes involving drivers who tested positive for drugs. This class rose 138.5% over the tracked period.
Fewer distracted drivers
While fatalities rose in almost every other way, distracted driving fatalities and crashes dropped by over 25%. Many attribute this trend to Colorado’s distracted driving laws, which came on the books in 2009. The decreasing trend of these crashes is an encouraging trend line.
Individual safety choices matter
One major factor stands out among the many points reviewed in the data. Unsafe driving practices contributed to a vast percentage of accidents. These behaviors include:
- Refusing seatbelts
- Substance use
These three factors contribute to a huge number of fatalities.
Make the right choices and protect yourself
Here’s the problem: even if you make every right decision on the road, you might still find yourself in a crash. If this happens, you deserve to take every step to recover compensation and hold the other party responsible.