Just-Released Stats Show Colorado's Roads Are Getting More Dangerous

Additional images and more below.
Additional images and more below.
File photo

The Colorado Department of Transportation has just released its 2016 Problem Identification Report.

And, unfortunately, there are problems aplenty.

The statistics are from 2014 — the most recent year for which data is final. And during that span, the number of fatal crashes rose substantially from the year before, as did the number of people fatally injured.

There were also more injury crashes (a lot more), a big bump in the number of motorcyclists who died in crashes during which they weren't wearing helmets, and more.

Below, we've highlighted many of the document's main conclusions, featuring CDOT stats and text, as well as photos from previous Westword coverage. This material is followed by the complete report.

Just-Released Stats Show Colorado's Roads Are Getting More Dangerous
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FATAL CRASHES

In 2014, there were:

• 451 fatal crashes; 20 crashes higher than occurred in 2013.

• 488 persons were fatally injured; a 1.5 percent increase from 2013.

• 168 speeding-related fatalities; comprising 34 percent of all fatalities.

The counties with the highest number of traffic fatalities were: Weld (54), El Paso (53), Jefferson (44), Denver (42) and Adams (33).

In 2014, there were 24 counties with a fatality rate (per 100,000 population) two times higher than the 2014 state rate of 9.3: Archuleta, Alamosa, Bent, Cheyenne, Custer, Eagle, Grand, Gunnison, Huerfano, Kit Carson, Lincoln, Logan, Montezuma, Morgan, Ouray, Park, Phillips, Prowers, San Juan, San Miguel, Sedwick, Washington, Weld and Yuma.

In 2014, there were 16 counties where the number of fatal injuries exceeded (by more than three people) what would be expected based on the state average: Eagle, Fremont, Garfield, Lincoln, Mesa, Montrose, Morgan, Park, Prowers, Pueblo, Saguache, San Miguel, Washington, Weld and Yuma.

Just-Released Stats Show Colorado's Roads Are Getting More Dangerous
File photo

INJURY CRASHES

In 2014, there were:

• 12,323 injury crashes; a 28 percent increase from 2013.

• 7,304 serious injury crashes.

• 3,224 serious injuries from crashes; a 2.9 percent decrease from 2013.

The counties with the highest number of serious injuries were: Denver (610), Arapahoe (382), El Paso (293), Jefferson (257), Adams (243), Weld (206), Larimer (164) and Boulder (180).

In 2014, there were 17 counties with a serious injury rate (per 100,000 population) two times higher than the 2014 state rate of 61: Cheyenne, Clear Creek, Conejos, Costilla, Dolores, Gilpin, Hinsdale, Huerfano, Jackson, Kiowa, Kit Carson, Lincoln, Mineral, Park, Saguache, San Juan and Washington.

In 2014, there were 32 counties where the number of serious injuries exceeded (by more than three people) what would be expected based on the state average: Arapahoe, Archuleta, Bent, Boulder, Chaffee, Conejos, Costilla, Custer, Delta, Denver, Eagle, Elbert, Gilpin, Gunnison, Kiowa, Kit Carson, Lake, La Plata Lincoln, Mesa, Mineral, Montezuma, Montrose, Morgan, Otero, Park, Phillips, Rio Grande, Saguache, Teller, Washington and Weld.

Just-Released Stats Show Colorado's Roads Are Getting More Dangerous
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OCCUPANT PROTECTION

• 164 of 319 (51 percent) motor vehicle occupants who died in a fatal crash in 2014 were not using seat belts or other restraints.

• 530 of the 1,941 (27 percent) motor vehicle occupants who were seriously injured in a crash in 2014 were not using seat belts or other restraints.

• The estimate of overall statewide seat belt usage for all vehicle types in 2014 was 82.4 percent, a slight increase from 82.1 percent in 2013.

• In 2014, the counties with the highest number of unrestrained passenger vehicle occupant fatalities were: Weld (22), El Pason (18), Arapahoe (12), Jefferson (12) and Adams (11).

• Of the 29 counties in the 2014 Statewide Seat Belt Survey, observed seat belt use was below the 2015 state goal of 84.0 percent for the following counties: Pueblo (63.4 percent), Delta (69.1 percent), Boulder (74.5 percent), Montrose (75.2 percent), Fremont (76.2 percent), Eagle (76.7 percent) and El Paso (80.1 percent).

IMPAIRED DRIVING

• In 2014, there were 160 estimated fatalities where a driver had a blood alcohol content (BAC) equal to or over 0.08; corresponding to a 13 percent increase from 2013.

• In 2014, the counties with the highest number of fatalities in crashes involving a driver or motorcycle operator with a BAC equal to or over 0.08 were: El Paso (18), Jefferson (14), Denver (13), Weld (12) and Adams (12).

Upcoming Events

Continue for more information about dangers on Colorado roadways, including a new Colorado Department of Transportation Problem Identification Report.

 

Just-Released Stats Show Colorado's Roads Are Getting More Dangerous
File photo

MOTORCYCLES

• Of the 488 fatalities in 2014, 94 were among motorcyclists, corresponding to a 8.05 percent increase from 2013.

• Motorcyclists accounted for 19.3 percent of the 488 fatalities in 2014.

• 63.8 percent of the motorcyclists killed in 2014 were not wearing helmets, a 20 percent increase from 2013.

• In 2014, there were 517 seriously injured motorcyclists.

• Seriously injured motorcyclists accounted for 16 percent of all individuals injured seriously.

• Of the 517 seriously injured motorcyclists, 54 percent (281) were not wearing a helmet.

• In 2014, the counties with the highest number of motorcycle fatalities were: El Paso (19), Jefferson (11), Adams (7), Denver (7) and Weld (7).

• In 2014, the counties with the highest number of unhelmeted motorcyclist fatalities were: El Paso (13), Denver (6), Jefferson (6), Adams (5) and Weld (4).

SPEEDING

• In 2014, there were 168 speeding related fatalities, corresponding to a 12 percent increase from 2013.

• Law enforcement officers indicated that speeding was the driver action, or specific law violation, leading to a crash in 7 percent of all crashes (fatal and serious injury) and 6 percent of all non-injury crashes in 2014.

• In 2014, the counties with the highest number of speeding related fatalities were: El Paso (18), Jefferson (17), Adams (16), Weld (14) and Denver (12).

YOUNG DRIVERS

• 73 of the 684 drivers involved in fatal crashes in 2014 were aged 15-20 years old (10.7 percent), a 14 percent increase from 2013.

• In 2014, 28 of the 321 drivers fatally injured in fatal crashes were drivers aged 15-20 years old.

• In 2014, the counties with the highest number of drivers aged 15-20 years old involved in fatal crashes were: Weld (12), El Paso (9), Denver (6), Boulder (5) and five counties with four young driver fatal crashes: Adams, Arapahoe, Douglas, Jefferson and Larimer.

Just-Released Stats Show Colorado's Roads Are Getting More Dangerous
File photo

PEDESTRIAN AND BICYCLE SAFETY

• Of the 488 fatalities in 2014, 63 were pedestrians, corresponding with a 26 percent increase from 2013.

• In 2014, the counties with the highest number of pedestrian fatalities were: Denver (13), Adams (8, Arapahoe (80), Jefferson (7) and El Paso (5).

• 10 of the 488 fatalities were bicyclists in 2014, compared to 12 bicyclists in 2013.

DISTRACTED DRIVING

• In 2014, 214,065 drivers were involved in a motor vehicle crashes in Colorado. Law enforcement officers reported a human contributing factor for 61,820 (28.9 percent) of the drivers.

• Distraction is one of the specified human contributing factors and was recorded as the human contributor factor for 30,929 drivers, corresponding to 50 percent of drivers reported with a human contributor factor related to the motor vehicle crash.

• In 2013, the Institute of Transportation Management at Colorado State University conducted a distracted driver study in Colorado and found that 15.6 percent of over 24,000 observed drivers were distracted.

OLDER DRIVERS

• 78 of the 684 drivers involved in fatal crashes in 2014 were 65 years and older (11.4 percent) a 17 percent decrease from 2013.

• In 2014, 41 of the 321 drivers fatally injured in fatal crashes were drivers aged 65 years and older.

• In 2014, the counties with the highest number of drivers aged 65 years and older involved in fatal crashes were Jefferson (11), Larimer (6), Weld (5), Arapahoe (4), Denver (4) and El Paso (4).



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