Colorado has hit a deadly milestone of 500 traffic deaths thus far in 2019 with two months left to go.
Traffic fatalities are climbing, despite the increase in seat belt usage. The Colorado State Patrol tweeted out saying, “500 people. Read it again: *500* PEOPLE. Real lives lost on our roadways. No matter the cause, it’s unacceptable.”
According to CDOT, the highest rates in the 2019 deaths are among male drivers aged from 16 to 34. 632 traffic deaths occurred in 2018.
Motor vehicle crashes are a leading cause of death in Colorado, resulting from a number of contributing factors including impaired driving, not wearing a seat belt, driving drowsy, and distracted driving. This “distraction factor” may include another passenger, pets, cell phone, radio, food, or other objects that divert the driver’s attention from the road.
Most recently, the Colorado State Patrol responded to six fatal crashes in just 12 hours across the state. While the number of deaths continues to rise, more Coloradans are buckling up out there. According to a recent survey from CDOT, Colorado seat belt use increased by 2% jumping from 86.3% in 2018 to 88.3% in 2019. While the national rate is 90%, Colorado set a new record with seat belt usage climbing above 88%.
Other possible explanations for why crashes are on the rise around the state include wild weather and heavier traffic patterns. Colorado is no stranger to either. In fact, the first snow of the season resulted in more than 300 crashes across the Denver metro area.
As winter weather continues, motorists are encouraged to buckle up, slow down, and drive alert. This is especially true across dangerous roads and mountain passes. Traction laws are also in place right now in Colorado, including a 127-mile stretch of I-70. For the latest road conditions, closures, and delays, please visit cotrip.org.