John R. Fuller P.C.

1736 Race Street
Denver, CO 80206

(303) 597-4500

The Main Causes of Fatal Crashes in Colorado

Colorado State FlagIn 2014, there were 32,675 traffic deaths across the United States. In the state of Colorado, between the years 2002 and 2015, the state of Colorado had between 411 and 677 deaths annually. You may wonder about the primary cause of these fatal accidents. AutoInsurance.com conducted a study regarding the causes of fatal accidents. There were nine primary causes of auto fatalities, including:
  • Failure to stay in the proper lane;
  • Failure to yield the right-of-way;
  • Careless, or reckless driving behaviors;
  • Overcorrection of a vehicle;
  • Failure to adjust to road surface;
  • Driving on the wrong side of the road;
  • Failure to adjust to an obstruction in the road;
  • Operating a vehicle without necessary equipment;
  • Improper turns;
  • Improper lane changes, and
  • Police pursuit.

Colorado Residents Reckless Drivers?

In the majority of the states, failure to stay in the proper lane was the cause of fatal auto accidents, followed by failure to yield the right-of-way, which was the primary cause of deadly crashes in seven states. The state of Colorado joins four other states in which reckless or careless driving takes the top spot for cause of fatal auto accidents. A primary secondary factor in fatal auto accidents in the state of Colorado was road rage. Drivers in Indiana, South Carolina, Delaware and Montana joined the state of Colorado in road rage contributions to fatal auto accidents.  Somewhat surprisingly, there are five states which list police pursuit as a secondary factor in fatal automobile crashes (South Dakota, Texas, Alabama, Arizona and Georgia). Further Reading: The 7 Safest Used Cars for Budding Drivers

Colorado Did Not Rank High in Drunk Driving Fatalities

Thankfully, Colorado did not rank among the top five states which listed drunk driving as a significant factor in fatal automobile accidents. The five states which did list drunk driving as a factor in fatal auto accidents were North Dakota, Montana, Wyoming, South Dakota and South Carolina. The Auto Insurance Center concluded from these results that deaths resulting from drunk drivers are more prevalent in rural areas and those lacking in public transportation. Other than Utah, where strict alcohol laws and a disproportionately large Mormon population keep the drunk driving fatalities down, Washington D.C., New York, Massachusetts and New Jersey were the states with the fewest fatalities tied to drunk driving—all cities with easy access to cabs and subways.

Weather Conditions Responsible for Some Fatalities Across the U.S.

The state of Colorado also avoided ranking among the top five states where excessive speeds caused the most fatal accidents per capita (Montana, Wyoming, West Virginia, Louisiana and Delaware). Rural areas proved more deadly for drivers who drive over the posted speed limit. As far as weather conditions as a factor in deadly auto accidents, rain-slicked roads tend to kill more drivers than those packed with snow, except in the Midwest, where snow-packed roads prove more deadly. Driving in fog was responsible for more fatalities in the South than driving in snow—understandably, and the opposite was true in the Northeast and Midwest (more deaths were caused by driving in snow than driving in fog).

Colorado Saw the Deadliest Year in 2015

According to a recent issue of the Denver Post, 2015 was one of the most-deadly years for fatal crashes in Colorado, with 545 deaths—an 11.7 percent increase over 2014’s 488 traffic fatalities. In fact, 2015 was the first year since 2008 that the state of Colorado had more than 500 traffic-related fatalities.  Motorcycle fatalities also experienced an almost eleven percent increase from 2014 to 2015, however CDOT spokesman, Sam Cole, has no explanation as to why 2015 was particularly deadly for Colorado drivers and motorcyclists. Brian Root, manager of Coyote Sports, believes far too many motorcyclists attempt to ride in weather conditions they are woefully unprepared for. Lower fuel prices could also be a reason there was an increase in auto and motorcycle fatalities in Colorado—more drivers and riders had money to travel around the state, and/or job growth in the state increased the number of commuters. Colorado officials were baffled by the fact that nearly half of all those killed in an auto accident in the state were not wearing a seat belt.

Contact Our Denver Car Accident Lawyers

Denver Personal Injury Attorney John Fuller and StaffIf you have been injured or someone you love has been killed in a car accident, and you believe another person’s negligence is to blame, we can help. Our Denver car accident attorneys have extensive experience taking on large and complex car accident injury cases – and winning. Contact the Denver Law Firm of John R. Fuller, P.C. today at 303-597-4500 for a free initial consultation.