Why Does Colorado Have Such a High Car Accident Rate?
Why Does Colorado Have Such a High Car Accident Rate?

Why Does Colorado Have Such a High Car Accident Rate?

Any time behind the wheel poses a risk for accidents, anyone in a car is susceptible to getting into an accident, even the safest drivers.
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Exploring the beautiful state of Colorado may be one of the best parts of living here. A drive through the scenic mountains or exploring one of the beautiful cityscapes is an attraction for residents and tourists alike. However, any time behind the wheel poses a risk for accidents. Anyone in a car is susceptible to getting into an accident, even the safest drivers.

Damage from a car accident can range from minor to severe. A car accident can drastically change a person’s life or health, no matter the circumstances. Possible adverse outcomes from a car accident include:

  • Lost wages
  • Pain and suffering
  • Permanent disability
  • Emotional trauma or PTSD
  • Overwhelming medical bills due to the treatment of injuries

Due to the pandemic, fewer drivers have been on the road in the past year. As a result, since coronavirus, cars on the road have significantly reduced from 2019 to 2020. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that Americans drove 13.2 percent less in 2020 compared to the previous year. Yet, car accident fatalities have still increased nationwide and in Colorado. So why do we see an increase in car accidents despite fewer drivers on the road?

The prevalence of car accidents does not diminish the impact they can have. The two main categories for traffic accident causes are human error and everything else.

Colorado Car Accident Statistics

Here are some figures on the car accident rates from the Colorado Department of Transportation:

  • In 2020, there were 611 fatalities from motor vehicle accidents in Colorado. That is a 2 percent increase from the previous year.
  • In 2019, 597 people died from car accidents in Colorado.
  • There are over 100,000 car accidents every year in Colorado.
  • Speeding contributes to about one-third of all accident fatalities.
  • About half of all passengers who died in a crash were not wearing a seatbelt.
  • Drunk driving accounted for about one-fourth of all car accident deaths.
  • Car accidents have steadily increased in urban and rural areas throughout Colorado.

A car accident is never fun and sometimes traumatic or debilitating. Whatever the cause of the crash, the occurrence is stressful and frustrating for all parties involved. The results can leave people injured, disfigured, or even debilitated. By familiarizing yourself with the common causes of car wrecks, you can help reduce your odds of getting into an accident.

Read on to learn about the top reasons why car accidents occur so frequently in Colorado and across the nation.

Top Causes of Car Accidents in Colorado

Distracted Driving

Distracted driving is by far the leading cause of car accidents. It causes more and more accidents every year.

Distracted driving is not limited to talking or texting while driving. While texting and other cell phone use are a significant concern while driving, many other factors can lead to distracted driving accidents. Here are a few examples:

  • Eating
  • Reading a text, newspaper, or other distracting material that takes the driver’s attention off the road
  • Grooming
  • Putting on make-up

Drunk Driving or Driving Under the Influence

Intoxicated driving or driving while under the influence of any drug is extremely dangerous. While drunk driving is not necessarily the leading cause of car accidents, it is the most deadly. Therefore, it’s best never to get behind the wheel after drinking or using substances. Even some prescription medication can prove to be dangerous and negatively affect a driver’s judgment. If you’re unsure, err on the side of caution and let someone else drive. If you plan to drink alcohol, be sure to designate a sober driver for the night.


There are hundreds of fatal car accidents in Colorado every year. Speeding is a factor in about one-third of all car accident fatalities.

While it may seem urgent to speed at the moment, it’s not worth risking the safety of yourself and others. It’s best to drive within the posted speed limits.

Reckless Driving

Driving at a reckless speed, aggressive driving, and weaving through traffic lanes can cause horrendous accidents. It’s critical to be conscious of your actions on the road and pay attention to your surroundings at all times. Driving while you’re upset is not a good idea and can lead to aggressive or reckless driving behaviors. If you are upset or angry, it may be best to wait until you’ve calmed down before getting behind the wheel.


While driving in the rain or other inclement weather conditions may sometimes be inevitable, try to reduce the frequency if and when possible. If you can, take a moment to pull over and let the weather clear up when the visibility is low, or the roads are particularly slippery. Again, nothing is as important as your safety and well-being.

Traffic Violations

Failing to stop at a red light or stop sign can cause serious accidents. Not only can you cause a severe accident, but you can also get fined by the authorities. Your life is far more valuable than any meeting, deadline, or destination. So try your best to keep distractions out of sight while driving and follow all traffic rules.

Night-time Driving

It’s harder to see at night when it’s dark out than during the day when the sun is out.

Try to be more alert while driving at night and use your high beams when necessary. Using high beams can be especially helpful if you’re going on an isolated road without much lighting or in an area without street lights.

Vehicle Defects

Before a vehicle can hit the market, it will undergo rigorous testing to ensure quality and safety. Unfortunately, that does not guarantee defects won’t slip through the cracks. If there have been any recalls on your vehicle, tend to that as soon as possible. Also, make sure you bring your car in for regular maintenance so that you catch any issues before an accident happens and causes irreparable damage.


Always keep a reasonable distance between yourself and the car in front of you. If you get frustrated because you are stuck behind a slow driver, take a few deep breaths. Then, calm yourself down and proceed to drive cautiously while leaving ample space between yourself and the person in front of you. That way, you will have sufficient time to react to any abrupt moves from another driver.

Wrong-Way Driving and Improper Turns

Nobody is a perfect driver. Mistakes are unavoidable on the road, but we should try our best to avoid them. The cost for reckless or improper driving behaviors can be deadly. Be aware of one-way street signs, especially in unfamiliar territory.

In addition to wrong-way driving, failure to use the proper lane while turning can also cause accidents. Be sure to use turn signals and obey all traffic rules while making a turn. Also, remember to respect the right-of-way and be alert for traffic signs.

Contact an Experienced Colorado Car Accident Attorney Today

If you’ve been injured in a car accident, we’re here to help. You may be entitled to compensation and need proper legal representation to get the total amount you deserve.

Our team of skilled Colorado car accident attorneys has extensive experience and has helped countless people in similar situations throughout Colorado. Contact a qualified Colorado car accident attorney today for a consultation to learn more about your legal rights after a car accident injury.

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