Traffic fatalities in the U.S. declined slightly in 2017, however the data from the state of Colorado tells a different story. There were 642 traffic fatalities in Colorado in 2017, which is the highest number of crash-related deaths in this state since 2004. Sadly, the number of traffic fatalities in Colorado has been steadily rising over the several years. Why are the roads in Colorado becoming increasingly dangerous? Here are some the most common causes of fatal crashes:
Failure to Wear Safety Gear
Many of the people who were killed in traffic accidents could have possibly survived if they had been wearing the appropriate safety gear at the time of the crash. For example, the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) reports that half of the people who suffered fatal injuries in traffic accidents in 2016 were not wearing their seat belts. In addition, most of the motorcyclists who were killed on the roads during 2016 were not wearing their helmets. To reduce fatalities, everyone should make an effort to protect themselves with the proper safety gear.
Drugs and Alcohol
Drivers need to be able to pay attention to the road and react quickly to changes in their environment. This is nearly impossible for drivers who are under the influence of drugs or alcohol, which is why many of these intoxicated drivers are involved in fatal crashes. According to CDOT, impaired drivers were responsible for 196 fatalities in 2016. Many of these accidents involved drivers impaired by alcohol, but drivers that were impaired by marijuana were responsible for 77 fatalities.
Drowsy driving may not seem serious, but it’s one of the leading causes of fatal accidents in the U.S. The AAA Traffic Safety Foundation estimates that about 21% of all fatal accidents involve a drowsy driver. Since over one-third of Americans are not getting enough sleep, it’s not hard to see why drowsy driving has become such a major issue.
Drivers can get distracted by many things, including cell phones, other passengers in the vehicle, GPS devices, and music. Even though the vast majority of drivers understand the dangers of distracted driving, this does not stop them from engaging in this behavior anyways. Drivers who are distracted cause an average of 40 crashes per day in Colorado, many of which are fatal. If drivers simply focused on their surroundings, the roads in Colorado would be much safer overall.
The Cost of Traffic Accidents
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that traffic accident injuries and fatalities cost over $1 trillion every year. Fortunately, traffic accident victims usually only pay about one-quarter of their expenses after a crash. The majority of expenses are covered by private insurers. This is because when an accident occurs, the at-fault party’s insurance company is legally obligated to compensate the victim for his or her injuries. If someone is killed in an accident, the at-fault party’s insurance company must compensate the victim’s surviving family members for their loss.
It’s important to note that getting the insurance company to fulfill this legal obligation is never easy. To recover compensation, it’s best to work with an experienced personal injury attorney.
If you or a loved one has been involved in a car accident caused by a negligent driver, contact Reisch Law Firm at once. Our skilled personal injury attorneys will work tirelessly to recover the compensation you deserve. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.