^
Keep Westword Free
4
| Travel |

Why Colorado Roads Are Just as Deadly as Before the Pandemic

An aerial view of an October crash that took the life of a Commerce City police officer.
An aerial view of an October crash that took the life of a Commerce City police officer.

New statistics from the Colorado State Patrol reveal that the pace of deadly crashes on state roadways hasn't slowed, despite lower traffic volume almost everywhere because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In fact, the CSP has actually processed more statewide fatalities through October of 2020 than the agency did during the same period in 2019.

The CSP confirms that fewer drivers have been out and about during the year to date because of "the statewide stay-at-home order earlier this year and an increase in virtual working." Yet the number of deaths of motorists, passengers and other victims has barely changed through October 31 in the following four categories:

Statewide Fatal Crashes
455 (2020)
458 (2019)

Statewide Fatal Crashes covered by CSP
227 (2020)
228 (2019)

Statewide Fatalities
501 (2020)
505 (2019)

Statewide Fatalities covered by CSP
262 (2020)
255 (2019)

The CSP also provided Westword with the top five factors in 2020 crashes that resulted in deaths or injuries. The leading cause? A lack of attention — the sort of focus loss that can strike when drivers find themselves in traffic that's lighter than usual.

I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Denver and help keep the future of Westword free.

Here's the list:

1. Inattentive to Driving — 479 (16.3 percent)
2. Exceeded Safe/Legal Speed — 463 (15.7 percent)
3. Impaired Driving — 462 (15.7 percent)
4. Lane Violation Crashes 395 (13.4 percent)
5. Failed to Yield Right of Way Crashes — 183 (6.2 percent)

This scenario is clearly frustrating for Colonel Matthew Packard, chief of the Colorado State Patrol. "Driving is a social function," he says in a statement accompanying these new stats. "Without realizing it, we all rely on one another to follow traffic rules, including posted speed limits, and choose to never drive impaired. It is important that we recognize dangerous driving behaviors in others, as well as ourselves, and make a change when our behaviors put lives at risk."

Because you're no safer on Colorado roads now than you were before the pandemic.

Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.

 

Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.

 

Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.