Colorado Car Accident Statistics

07/10/2021

Motor vehicle accidents are a menace on American roads, including Colorado. In 2019, the United States recorded 33,244 fatal motor vehicle crashes, and 36,096 deaths occurred. It means that 11.0 deaths occurred per 100 000 people and 1.11 deaths per 100 million miles traveled. 

The high number of injuries and deaths from car accidents is the reason for several personal injury lawsuits and wrongful death actions. If you or anyone you know find yourself in a traffic accident, contact an experienced attorney to determine your legal options.

How Often Do Auto Accidents Occur in Colorado? 

Two vehicles involved in a car accident under an overpass in Colorado

A traffic crash is not uncommon in Colorado. They happen daily, and the crash death rate has increased over time. A 2019 report by the Colorado Department of Transportation revealed the following highlights:

  • Motor vehicle crashes are the leading causes of traffic death in Colorado..
  • The number of traffic fatalities from crashes in Colorado has continued to rise since 2011, resulting in 648 deaths in 2017.
  • Speeding caused 35% of fatal accidents. In 2017, Colorado recorded 230 speeding-related motor vehicle fatalities, a nine percent increase from 2016..
  • 53% of those who died in a motor vehicle collision were not wearing seatbelts. 
  • Alcohol-impaired driving contributed to 27% of all fatal crashes. 
  • Fatalities in urban areas increased by 8%
  • Fatalities in rural areas increased by 4%

Those who survive a motor vehicle accident in Colorado suffer injuries.. These injuries range from minor to severe. Some people suffer permanent injuries and may need physical therapy for the rest of their lives. CDOT notes in the report that the number of crash injuries dropped in the past ten years.

The top five counties for injury accidents in 2019 are:

  • Denver County with 478 serious injuries.
  • Arapahoe County with 364 serious injuries
  • Adams County with 316 serious injuries
  • Boulder County with 230 serious injuries
  • Jefferson County with 225 serious injuries

Injuries marked "serious" prevent the victim from walking, driving, or carrying out activities they used to before the accident. An accident victim who is not at fault for the crash is entitled to recover damages. Find out the damages you can claim from an accident attorney.

How Much Does Car Accident Fatalities Cost in Colorado? 

Traffic crashes do not only cause injuries and death; they consume the resources of those involved. It is more costly to handle the fallouts of accidents than it is to prevent one. According to the Center for Disease Control accident fatality statistics, traffic fatality resulted in $55 billion in medical and work loss costs in 2018. 

It amounted to $9 million in medical costs and $934 million in work loss in Colorado, totaling $943 million. The breakdown of traffic death cost by road users for that year is as follows:

  • $639 million for motor vehicle occupants
  • $151 million for motorcycle fatality
  • $127 million for pedestrian accidents
  • $20 million for bicycle accidents

The CDC is a safety advocate and notes that prevention of accidents saves money. The agency suggests the following as strategies for reducing the traffic fatality rate: 

  • Automated red-light camera and speed-enforcement 
  • Comprehensive graduated driver licensing systems
  • Publicized sobriety checkpoints
  • Mandatory ignition interlocks for all offenders convicted of alcohol impairment, including first-time offenders

What Are the Leading Causes of Motor Vehicle Accidents in Colorado? 

No driver sets out to crash their vehicle, but sometimes negligence or carelessness causes traffic collisions. In Colorado, there are different reasons why drivers get into accidents. According to the Colorado State Patrol, there are three leading causes of vehicle collisions in the state. 

1. Inattentiveness/Distracted Driving

Distracted driving takes three shapes:  manual, visual, and cognitive. Manual distractions are things you do with your hands while driving.. They include but are not limited to eating, changing CDs, or removing your hands from the wheel while dancing to a tune.

Visual distractions involve taking your eyes off the road. It primarily includes texting, looking away to pick something in the vehicle, etc. A visually distracted driver has only about three seconds to crash. Thus, drivers must keep their eyes on the road at all times. 

Cognitive distractions deal with the driver's mental state. When you're behind the wheel, you should not think of the domestic product you want to buy. It's also not the time to analyze everything that went wrong that day. Once you're distracted mentally, you can't focus on the task of driving and might crash.

Lastly, statistics from CDOT states that distracted drivers are involved in an average of 42 crashes a day in Colorado. In 2019, 15,143 collisions involved a Colorado distracted driver, resulting in 4,361 injuries and 39 deaths. 

2. Speeding

Speeding frequently factors in fatal and injury crashes, and it is the second most common cause. Drivers must maintain posted and legal speed limits of the state's roadways. If a driver is on a hazardous road, they must slow down to match the conditions, even if it means driving below the posted speed limit. 

arm in cast after car accident

The following are the Colorado speed limit as listed on the website of the Colorado 73rd General Assembly: 

  • Narrow, winding mountain highways, or blind curves: 20 mph
  • Any business district: 25 mph
  • Any residential neighborhood: 30 mph
  • Open mountain highways: 40 mph
  • Open highways that are not a part of the interstate system and are not four‑lane freeways or expressways; 55 mph
  • Surfaced, four‑lane highways that are a part of the interstate system or expressways: 65 mph.

3. Aggressive Driving

Aggressive driving behaviors like traffic and lane violations cause severe injury crashes and fatalities. Other known aggressive driving behaviors are following too closely and failure to yield the right of way. Improper passing, disregarding stop signs, and driving on the wrong side of the road also amount to driving aggressively. 

Aside from these three, alcohol involvement and drugs are known to cause accidents. For example, Colorado legalized recreational marijuana. But if law enforcement officers detain you for driving under marijuana impairment, you will be guilty of a DUI. Similarly, adult drivers must keep their blood alcohol concentration below .08%. Anything from that number is considered a legal impairment.  

What Are the Types of Car Accidents in Colorado? 

There are two types of drivers on the roadway: those who are careful and those who are careless. The actions of the latter often determine the type of car accident that occurs. Primarily, a motor vehicle crash is either a single-vehicle accident or a two/multiple vehicle accident. 

Single-Vehicle Accident 

Like the name, a single-car crash involves only one vehicle and one driver. Often, the motorist veers off the roadway and collides with a stationary object. The latter could be a tree, mailbox, fence, or a parked vehicle. When a car hits an animal and crashes, it is a solo car accident. 

In crashes of this nature, the driver can only make an insurance claim against their insurance company. Since there is no other person involved in the crash, they cannot hold anyone else responsible for their injury and losses. However, if hazardous road conditions cause the wreck, and the driver did not play a role in the accident, they can sue the government. Find out more about this from an accident lawyer. 

Two/Multiple Vehicle Collision

A two-vehicle collision involves two drivers and two vehicles. A multiple-vehicle collision involves three or more cars and is also known as a chain-reaction accident.. They are more dangerous than solo crashes and have more injury or fatality victims. 

There are different types of two/multiple vehicle collisions: 

  • Head-on collision where two vehicles traveling in different directions collide against each other.. Illegal lane change is a common cause of this accident.
  • Rear-end collision where one vehicle hits the other from behind. Following too closely (tailgating) and speeding are common causes of this accident. Rear-end collisions are famous for causing chain-reaction crashes.
  • Side-impact (broadside) collision where one vehicle hits the other from the side. It is commonly referred to as a T-bone collision, and running red lights or disobeying stop signs at intersections is a common cause.

In any of the above, there is usually a fault party or fault parties and victim or victims. The former category is liable in damages to the latter. Victims can file an accident claim to the responsible party's insurance provider or file a personal injury action. It is advisable to get a personal injury attorney for either of the two.

What Are the Steps To Take After a Car Accident in Colorado?

If you want to file an auto accident claim, you must take steps to ensure you have enough evidence to win your case. 

  • Report the accident to the police, and obtain the official report as soon as you can. 
  • Get treated for any injury, and record every treatment prescribed by the doctor. Even if you feel well after the crash, still visit a hospital for a checkup.
  • If you were not severely injured, try to take pictures of the accident scene, injuries, and property damage. Also, get witness statements as they'll be helpful in the future. 
  • Get legal representation. It’s better to commence the claim process with an attorney to ensure you secure the appropriate compensation.
Man calls for help after accident

Let Firouzbakht Law Firm Handle Your Car Accident Claim.

As a car accident victim, you're entitled to get compensation for your injuries and financial losses. Working with a reliable legal team like our attorneys at Firouzbakht Law Firm will quicken the process and get you the maximum compensation. We work on a contingency basis and will not demand upfront payment. Contact us today for a free consultation.

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