Car accidents are a crisis on the roadways across the nation and in Colorado. The accident statistics are unsettling. According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA), in 2021, the US observed a 16-year record high for traffic fatalities. The NHTSA’s 2021 traffic estimates report 42,915 traffic fatalities. That’s a 10.5% increase from 38,824 deaths in 2020. That projection is the highest since 2005 and the most significant annual increase in the history of NHTSA’s data. With each life that is lost is a family left behind to grieve.
After a car accident, victims and their families can recover compensation for damages. If you or a loved one sustained injuries in a car accident, contact an experienced Denver car accident attorney. We will provide solid legal advice and help you file a personal injury or wrongful death suit. While we understand that no amount of money can undo accident damages, getting fair compensation can help you recuperate and move forward.
How Often Do Car Accidents Occur in Colorado?
Colorado is no stranger to traffic accidents. They happen every day on Colorado’s roadways. In addition, traffic fatalities continue to rise over the years. According to a Colorado Department of Transportation data release, Colorado had 86,447 crash data listings in 2020. Here are some additional statistics according to the Colorado Department of Transportation and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA):
- Colorado had a 15% increase in car accidents from 2020 to 2021. That rate is alarming because traffic density decreased significantly during that time.
- Distracted driving has been Colorado’s leading cause of car accidents for several years.
- Over one-third of fatal car accidents in Colorado involved impaired driving in 2021.
- There were 545 traffic-related deaths in Colorado in 2020.
- In 2021, there were 691 traffic fatalities in Colorado.
- So far, in 2022, there have been more traffic fatalities than at the same time last year.
- Speeding caused 35% of fatal car crashes in 2017
In Colorado, the top counties with accident-related injuries in 2019 were:
- Denver County
- Arapahoe County
- Adams County
- Boulder County
- Jefferson County
How Much Do Car Accident Fatalities Cost in Colorado?
In 2018, more than 650 people in Colorado died in a car accident. However, traffic accidents do not only cause severe injuries and death. They also consume resources for all parties involved. Proven strategies and policy enforcement to prevent car crashes can save lives and massive amounts of money. Here are a few more statistics from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):
- Traffic crash fatalities cost Colorado $55 billion in medical and work loss expenses in 2018. That doesn’t include the immeasurable burden on the victims’ families and friends.
- Colorado also incurred $9 million in car accident-related medical costs and $934 million in work loss costs.
- Totaling $943 million for traffic crash deaths in Colorado for 2018
Here is a cost breakdown by type of road occupant:
- $639 million for motor vehicle occupants (68%)
- $151 million for motorcycle fatality (16%)
- $127 million for pedestrian accidents (14%)
- $20 million for bicycle accidents (2%)
The CDC additionally advocates for roadway safety practices to prevent accidents. Accident prevention can save not only money but lives as well.
What Are the Leading Causes of Accidents in Colorado?
While no driver intends to crash their car, sometimes they act negligently or carelessly. If that negligence or carelessness causes an accident, they should be held accountable.
The causes of Colorado car accidents vary. However, according to Colorado State Patrol, the top reasons for vehicle collisions in Colorado include:
1. Distracted Driving
Distracted driving can take the form of manual, visual, and cognitive modes.
Manual distraction is a tangible activity that compromises your hands from staying on the wheel. Examples of manual distractions include eating, changing a CD, or dancing with your hands in the air.
A visual distraction is any distraction that takes your eyes off the road. Examples of visual distractions include texting or looking at some other distraction. It only takes one second for a distracted driver to cause a crash. Therefore, drivers should keep their eyes on the road at all times.
Cognitive distractions involve a mental diversion. If you are behind the wheel thinking about your shopping list, you’re not entirely focused on the road. Drivers are encouraged to focus on the task of diving to avoid car crashes.
CDOT statistics show that distracted drivers in Colorado caused an average of 42 accidents a day in 2019. In the same year, 15,143 distracted driver-related accidents resulted in 4,361 injuries and 39 fatalities.
Speeding is the second leading cause of car accidents in Colorado. Drivers have a duty to maintain their speed within legal limits. Additionally, drivers should use caution when on a hazardous road or to accommodate road conditions. Failure to do so is considered negligence. If someone else’s negligence causes the accident and you get injured, you may be entitled to compensation.
3. Aggressive Driving
Aggressive driving is another top cause of traffic accidents in Colorado. Aggressive behaviors include excessive lane switching and tailgating. Failure to yield is another example of an aggressive driving maneuver.
4. Driving Under the Influence
Drunk driving is a serious offense that can have dire consequences. The effects of alcohol include:
- Reduced brain functioning
- Impaired thinking
- Compromised reasoning skills
- Slowed muscle coordination
All these abilities are crucial to safely operating a vehicle. And unfortunately, even a small amount of alcohol can impair driving skills.
About 32 people in the US die in an alcohol-related car crash every day. That equates to a life taken every 45 minutes. What’s more, all of these deaths are entirely preventable. Here are a few more statistics on drunk-driving crashes:
- In 2020 11,654 people died in a fatal car crash caused by a drunk driver
- There was a 14% increase in drunk-driving deaths from 2019 to 2020
- Colorado had 163 alcohol-impaired driving fatalities in 2019
Contact a Denver Car Accident Lawyer Today
If you or a loved one has incurred losses in a car accident that was someone else’s fault, you have a right to recover compensation. It may feel like your life has been turned upside down after an unexpected tragedy that leaves you with injuries, medical bills, stress, and more. However, it would be best if you did not deal with such a traumatic experience alone.
Our Denver car accident lawyers have handled numerous cases and helped victims recover car accident damages.
We take a personalized approach to every case, which allows us to provide tailored support. In addition, we will fight tirelessly to ensure you get a fair settlement. Call us today for a free consultation.