2019 in Hindsight as 2020 Rolls into View
Reviewing data gathered by the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) provides information that offers guidance that can keep you safe as you drive down the road. As they say, hindsight is 2020, and reviewing CDOT data from 2018 and 2019 shows that some things are better, and some still pose a real risk to safety. Understanding the data can help keep you and your loved ones from becoming an automobile accident statistic.
Fatalities in Colorado
In 2019, 567 individuals died in motor vehicle accidents in Colorado. Of these, 165 involved motorists were impaired. By comparison, fatalities declined significantly from the 632 recorded in 2018, of which 209 died in accidents involving impaired drivers. In both 2018 and 2019, June, July, and August remain the deadliest months for drivers, passengers, and pedestrians in Colorado.
In 2019, 56 (9.9%) of fatalities were drivers over the age of 65, while 227 (40%) were drivers under the age of 65. 94 (16.6%) were passengers in the vehicle. 101 (17.8%) were motorcyclists, and 70 (12.3%) were pedestrians. 19 (3.4%) were bicyclists.
Looking Back While Moving Forward
The data shows that drivers under the age of 40, motorcyclists, and pedestrians, need to exercise additional caution on the road. Here’s how you can reduce your accident risk:
- Wear bicycle/motorcycle helmets. Every trip, every time.
- Wear reflective gear and lights. Reflective strips, lights, and flashers increase cyclist visibility on the road.
- Slow down. Always drive at a speed that is safe for conditions. Slowing down is especially crucial on mountain roads where conditions can deteriorate without warning.
- Don’t drink and drive. This advice is timeless, with no expiration date. Take a taxi, take the bus, or call a friend. Don’t get behind the wheel.
- Avoid distractions. Stay off the phone. Don’t consume food or drink while driving. Allow passengers to handle radio/comfort controls.
- Stay alert on the holidays. This includes the period three to four days before July 4th, Labor Day, Memorial Day, Thanksgiving, and Christmas.
- Maintain your vehicle. Always check tire pressure, windshield wiper fluid reservoirs and wiper blades, brake function, steering controls, defrosters, and other critical components. Promptly repair any problems or replace damaged parts.
- Wear seat belts. In 2016, seat belts saved 15,000 lives. 2,500 more could have survived if they had worn their belts.
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