Traffic fatalities in Colorado rise for second year in a row

Speeding, seat belt use and impairment three most common factors in fatalities

Traffic fatalities continue to climb in Colorado, reversing declines that were achieved between 2007 and 2011, according to the North Denver News. Statistics released by the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) show traffic fatalities increased in 2013 on top of another increase seen the year before. The statistics show the three most important factors leading to fatal car accidents were speeding, impairment and lack of seat belt use. To combat the growing problem, the CDOT will begin offering grants to projects that can lead to improved road safety.

Traffic fatalities rise

The recently released statistics show there were 481 traffic fatalities in 2013 compared to 472 in 2012, representing an increase of 1.9 percent, according to the Coloradoan. Between 2007 and 2011, Colorado saw consistent declines in traffic fatalities, a decline that now seems to have been reversed.

There was some good news in the recently released statistics, however. Although speeding and impairment were still among the top three contributing factors in fatal accidents, the overall numbers of fatalities attributable to speed or impairment did drop between 2009 and 2013. However, an increasing number of fatalities are now being linked to drivers and passengers not wearing seat belts. Over the same five-year period, fatalities attributed to lack of seat belt use rose 5.4 percent.

Focus on prevention

The CDOT says a focus on those three areas — speed, alcohol and seat belt use — will be key to reducing the number of fatalities in the future. However, officials at the CDOT say other issues, such as marijuana-related impairment and pedestrian safety, also deserve greater attention.

To improve road safety, the CDOT will be offering grants to agencies, organizations and tribal governments in the state to help realize programs and projects that could improve safety on state roads and highways. The CDOT says it will give priority to projects focused on reducing injuries and deaths caused by what it has identified as its most important safety concerns, such as seat belt use, impaired driving, distracted driving and pedestrian accidents.

Car accidents

As the above story shows, Colorado's roads and highways can be dangerous places to drive, especially given the presence of impaired or otherwise reckless drivers. Being injured in a car accident is often a traumatic experience that leads to physical, emotional and financial strain.

A personal injury attorney should be contacted as soon as possible after an accident. Making a claim is often an essential step in helping to cope with the financial pressures raised by an accident, and an experienced attorney can help injured motorists with any claims they may have.