Colorado is known for the iconic Rocky Mountains and many travel-worthy destinations—but its roads and drivers have also placed it on the map for the results of several road safety studies:
- In 2017, data from the National Highways Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) considers the Centennial State as the sixth most dangerous state for drivers ages 15-20 with 15.1% of fatalities involving young drivers.
- Traffic collisions resulted in 632 deaths in 2018.
- Close to 600 traffic deaths occurred in Colorado roads in 2019.
Causes of Fatal Collisions
Driver negligence is seen as the prominent cause of vehicle collisions, with 13.3% of drivers at fault based on a 2020 study. These accidents are mainly due to: driving under influence of drugs or alcohol; distracted driving due to texting; answering phone calls or by being distracted by passengers; aggressive driving in terms of speeding and tailgating; and careless driving due to fatigue or inattention to road safety such as not wearing seatbelts for both driver and passengers. Other causes of car collisions can be a result of faulty vehicles, poor roadway and weather conditions, and unsafe vehicle designs and manufacturers’ negligence. Traffic accidents are not only confined to vehicles as it also has alarming rates for motorcycles and bicyclists as well. Majority of the fatalities recorded in previous years were caused by not wearing a helmet and other motorcycle safety gear. Fatalities not only claim the lives of drivers and passengers, but they can also cause injuries and death to pedestrians and even damage to property.
Local Support for Road Safety
The Colorado Department of Transportation notes that motor vehicle accident is the leading cause of death in the state, with death tolls rising each year. As such, the state has launched an aggressive initiative called “Moving Towards Zero Deaths” to promote road safety and reduce crash fatalities. This goal has also found support with local partners, such as The Sawaya Law Firm as it has the technological capabilities of visualizing vehicle crash data through interactive maps and even data dashboard. The private law firm has launched its own interactive crash map- Deadly Colorado Drivers. This provides a graphic presentation of data gained from the Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) to come up with pinned locations and details regarding the total number of fatalities and contributing factors that may range from: alcohol or drug use; distracted, careless, or aggressive driving; and failure to yield that may occur as sole or in combination of driver-induced fatalities. The interactive map also provides a breakdown of drivers by age group to show the most vulnerable ages for fatal crashes as an added precaution for all driving age groups.
The crash map allows Colorado motorists to avoid accident-prone roads and chose safer, alternative routes. In the case where passage is essential, it can serve as a heads-up for drivers to be on the lookout and become more cautious while on such dangerous roads. Thus, the aim of this project is not only to provide Colorado road users a detailed map of dangerous roads and the causes of such accidents, but also to foster education that would lead to responsible driving and eventually result to a significant decrease in vehicle fatalities.
The Other Statistic: Injuries
Informing Coloradans about hazardous roads and fatalities is only half of the picture, as there are more lives affected by such tragic mishaps. Whether it be the fault of the driver or the other, there is always an injured party. As of 2019, the Colorado Department of Transportation recorded 11,668 total injuries, 67.3% of which required hospitalization. Apart from serious injuries, many have also sustained damages to their vehicles and even other properties. Motorists should know what to do when such instances arise, as Colorado car accident law requires all car accidents to be reported within three years of the incident. This is mandatory for all traffic collisions, even if one or more vehicles have minor damages.
Apart from its support for safer roads on the Centennial State, The Sawaya Law Firm also serves as a sentinel of justice for those who have been involved in car crashes. Its devoted team of injury law practitioners are fully competent to assist those who may need legal advice or representation in filing for car accident lawsuits. The practice can assist individuals and affected families seeking for claims as just compensation for their injuries and aid them towards recovery.