Car accidents are one of the leading causes of preventable injuries in Colorado. Although there are many issues and forms of negligence that can contribute to or cause a crash, it is useful to know about some of the biggest dangers, so you can do your best to avoid them. Using recent data from the Colorado Department of Transportation (CODOT), we have been able to identify five serious concerns that every driver in Colorado should know about.
Five safety concerns on the roads of Colorado include:
- Seat belt use: According to CODOT, only 84% of drivers in the state wear a seat belt when in a moving vehicle. This percentage is below the 90% national average, and it should be 100% because it is so easy to put on a seat belt. Box truck drivers and drivers of other comparatively small commercial vehicles only wear their seat belts 77% of the time. Without a seat belt on, the risk of suffering a severe injury in a crash escalates dramatically.
- Impaired and intoxicated driving: Drunk driving remains a serious problem across the country, including in Colorado. Also, drivers who are impaired by drugs like marijuana are becoming more common in the state after recreational marijuana was decriminalized in some cases. CODOT data shows that the number of traffic fatalities caused by drunk drivers has steadily increased year across the last 10 years. The worst offenders in the state for drunk driving accidents are men aged 21 to 34, who cause the most fatal accident while their blood alcohol concentration (BAC) levels are above 0.08.
- Speeding: Since 2013, the number of speeding-related traffic fatalities in Colorado has increased by at least 50%. During the coronavirus pandemic, speeding citations and accidents went up, too, because many drivers saw the emptier roads as an “invitation” to drive faster. Furthermore, speeding accidents usually make up about one-third of all accidents in the state. If all motorists would stop speeding, then the streets would become dramatically safer overnight.
- Motorcycle dangers: CODOT wants to warn all motorcyclists about the dangers they can encounter while on the road. Although fatal motorcycle accidents have dropped slightly in recent years, the total number is still much higher than it should be, especially considering that about 70% of all motorcyclist deaths are suffered by riders who don’t wear a helmet. This number seems to be on an upward trend lately, so it needs to be reversed as soon as possible. Wear a motorcycle helmet whenever the vehicle is in operation.
- Young drivers: Between 2016 and 2017, CODOT data shows that the number of fatal car accidents caused by young drivers sharply rose, as well as the number of traffic fatalities suffered by the same age group. Specifically, the data examines drivers aged between 15-20. By far, the leading cause of car accidents among young drivers is careless driving, which includes various forms of negligence like texting and driving. Another probable leading factor is simple inexperience.
Everyone can do their part to lower the risks on Colorado’s roads. It all begins with taking deliberate steps to be a more responsible driver. But, just in case you encounter a driver who is not doing their part, it helps to know a local and reputable car accident attorney.