man holding paper with charts and graphsCar accidents impact the lives of thousands of Coloradoans every year. According to the Colorado Department of Transportation, there were more than 120,000 crashes in one recent year alone, resulting in almost 600 fatalities and more than 3,000 serious injuries.

The Denver car accident lawyers at Olson Law Firm want to shed some light on the problem of traffic accidents in Colorado in the hopes of reducing the number of deaths and injuries on Colorado’s roads. If you’ve been injured in an accident, we can help you pursue compensation for your losses. We’ve spent more than a decade fighting on behalf of Colorado crash victims, and our results have earned us a 10/10 rating from Avvo.com.

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Major Causes of Car Accidents in Colorado

The latest available data from the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) lists some of the significant causes of car accidents in Colorado:

  • Speeding was a factor in 40 percent of traffic fatalities, and the number of speeding-related fatalities increased by 14 percent over the previous year.
  • Drivers impaired by alcohol were involved in 30 percent of all fatal accidents, while the number of alcohol-related fatalities decreased by 15 percent.
  • Of the 596 total traffic deaths, there were 35 distracted drivers involved in fatal crashes, showing distracted driving accounted for roughly 6 percent of all traffic deaths.
  • Drug use is also a significant factor in Colorado accidents. Seventy-eight of the 596 fatalities involved a driver or motorcycle operator who tested positive for drugs – roughly 13 percent.

How Many Car Accidents Occur in Colorado?

According to CDOT, there were 121,648 crashes in just one recent year. That is a 0.7 percent decrease from the previous year, though the most recent figures raised the 5-year crash average by 0.8 percent. While the one-year drop is commendable, the fact that the five-year average rose indicates that more work needs to be done to reduce crashes in Colorado.

Information from CDOT indicates that Colorado had a fatality rate of 10.3 deaths per 100,000 people, while the national average was 11 deaths per 100,000 people. The Colorado and national fatality rates were nearly identical during the previous year, at 11.1 deaths per 100,000 people and 11.3 deaths per 100,000 people, respectively.

Who Gets Involved in Colorado Auto Accidents?

CDOT data reveals some insights into the drivers who are frequently involved in accidents, such as:

  • From 2015-19, the race or ethnic group with the greatest number of traffic fatalities was people of White, non-Hispanic descent, with 2,001 deaths. In a distant second, there were 704 fatalities among people of White, Hispanic descent in that same period.
  • Drivers and passengers aged 65 and over were the most likely to be hospitalized after a crash, at a rate of 80.3 hospitalizations per 100,000 population. The age group with the next-highest rate included drivers aged 21-34, at a rate of 67.5 hospitalizations per 100,000 population.
  • Motor vehicle drivers and passengers made up the vast majority of fatalities, at roughly 84 percent of traffic deaths. Pedestrians made up the next biggest group of deaths, at about 13 percent. Cyclists made up about 3 percent of all traffic deaths.
  • Concerning serious injuries, the figures are roughly comparable to the data for fatalities. Motor vehicle drivers and passengers made up about 87 percent of crash victims, while pedestrians made up approximately 10 percent of crash victims, and cyclists accounted for the remaining 3 percent.

Where and When Do Crashes Occur in Colorado?

Historical data from CDOT shows that from 2002-15, the month with the highest average number of fatal crashes was July, at 52 fatal crashes per year. This number was slightly higher than the averages for August (51 deaths per year on average) and June (50 deaths per year on average). The months with the lowest average number of fatalities were February (30 deaths on average) and January (33 deaths on average).

Starting in 2015, traffic deaths in urban areas of Colorado began to consistently exceed traffic deaths in rural areas. While there were 285 urban fatalities in 2015 and 260 rural fatalities, by 2019, there were 351 urban fatalities and 242 rural fatalities.

What Percentage of Accidents in Colorado are Fatal?

Out of the 121,648 total crashes, 545 were fatal. That’s a fatal accident rate of about 0.45 percent, but every deadly car accident is a tragedy for the victim’s friends and family. There were 122,504 crashes overall and 588 fatal accidents during the prior year, for a fatal accident rate of 0.47 percent.

Car Accident Statistics by Gender

Men vastly outnumber women as car accident victims, especially when it comes to fatalities. CDOT data show there were 452 male fatalities during one recent year, while there were only 144 female fatalities.

Car Crash Statistics by County

Per a CDOT report, the counties with the highest number of traffic deaths were:

  • Adams County — 69 fatalities
  • El Paso County — 66 fatalities
  • Denver County — 61 fatalities
  • Weld County — 52 fatalities
  • Jefferson County — 51 fatalities

Get Help from Our Compassionate Colorado Car Accident Lawyers Today

These figures help illustrate the scope of the problem in car accidents in Colorado, but they don’t fully demonstrate the pain crash victims go through.

If you’ve been injured in a car crash in Colorado, the attorneys at Olson Law Firm are ready to listen to your story and help you understand your rights and legal options. For a free consultation with our team, call us or reach out to us online today.