The Biggest Reasons Behind Denver's Deadliest Crashes

In recent years, there's been plenty of debate about stoned driving, and how its dangers compare to other factors leading to deadly crashes.

Now, a new online tool offers data showing that driving under the influence of drugs is actually among the elements least likely to lead to an automobile-related death in Denver — although its risks are disproportionately higher among specific demographics.

That's among the takeaways from the Interactive Crash Map: Deadly Denver Drivers, developed by the folks at the Sawaya Law Firm.

The map features numbers from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's Fatality Analysis Reporting System for the years 2010-2014 — the most recent available. Each fatal crash in the Denver area is shown, along with place, date, total fatalities and contributing factors: "alcohol reported," "drug use reported," "distracted driving," "careless/inattentive driving," "aggressive driving," "reckless/negligent driving" and/or "failure to yield."

An example reads:
Total Fatalities: 1
All Contributing Factors: Careless /Inattentive Driving
Just as interesting is a graphic showing the number of deaths over that period due to each contributing factor broken down by age: 15-20, 21-34, 35-49, 50-64 and 65 and older. For instance, those between 21 and 34 account for the most fatalities in each category — although some are worse than others.

Way worse.

Continue to get the details about each of the seven major factors contributing to death on Denver roads from 2010-2014, ranked from the least to the most deadly. The countdown is followed by screen captures of the graphic and map. To try out the real things for yourself, click here.

Number 7: Distracted Driving (tie)

Fatalities 15-20 years: 2

Fatalities 21-34 years: 7

Fatalities 35-49 years: 2

Fatalities 50-64 years: 4

Fatalities 65 and older: 2

Total fatalities: 17

Number 7: Drug Use Reported (tie)

Fatalities 15-20 years: 4

Fatalities 21-34 years: 8

Fatalities 35-49 years: 5

Fatalities 50-64 years: 0

Fatalities 65 and older: 0

Total fatalities: 17

Number 5: Failure to Yield

Fatalities 15-20 years: 1

Fatalities 21-34 years: 6

Fatalities 35-49 years: 2

Fatalities 50-64 years: 3

Fatalities 65 and older: 6

Total fatalities: 18

Continue for more reasons behind Denver's deadliest crashes.

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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts