In Golden and throughout Colorado, people who head out on the state roadways will be aware that there is potential risk around every corner. Since people need to commute to get to work, school and for leisure activities, it is wise to understand the possible catalysts for auto accidents and to know what to look for. This might prevent some collisions from happening. Unfortunately, it will not prevent all of them. Recently, the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) released data showing that alcohol and drugs were a primary factor in a substantial number of fatal collisions in the state. In addition, pedestrians were found to be at greater risk. For people who were in a crash and suffered injuries or lost a loved one, these factors could be extremely relevant when considering the future.
Auto accidents claimed 691 lives in Colorado in 2021
The CDOT reported that 691 people were killed in an auto crash in 2021. This is up by around 50% from just a decade earlier. Worryingly, the numbers say that since 2019, there was a 44% spike in deaths involving a driver who was impaired in some way. Representatives from the CDOT say that this is one of the biggest challenges legislators, law enforcement and safety advocates face in reducing the number of road deaths.
In January, a report was released discussing the number of cases in which drivers were charged with driving while impaired. It found that there were more than 26,000 such cases in 2019. Forty-five percent had multiple substances in their system. Most had evidence of cannabis and alcohol. The next highest number was those who had alcohol and harder drugs like cocaine in their systems.
In another report, AAA said that drivers who only used alcohol committed various risky behaviors on the road including driving aggressively, driving at excessive speeds in residential areas and driving while distracted. Using intoxicating substances like alcohol has long been known to negatively impact driving in myriad ways. It hinders the judgment, reduces reaction time and can lead to drowsiness.
Pedestrians were also in greater jeopardy in 2021
To make matters worse, pedestrians were also exceedingly vulnerable in 2021, so much so that the CDOT is embarking on a safety campaign with local businesses to highlight the problem. There were 91 pedestrian fatalities across the state last year accounting for 13% of all fatalities. This was two shy of the record high in 2020 when there were 93. In 2017, there were 92. Certain pieces of advice were given to drivers and pedestrians. That included being visible, using crosswalks, adhering to the law, avoiding distraction and being prepared for anything. Still, with drivers using alcohol, drugs, texting and driving and committing other violations, safety is a growing challenge with viable solutions being sought.
Experienced assistance may be key in the aftermath of an auto accident
Given the increasing dangers that pedestrians, bicyclists, passengers and motorists face when heading out, it is important to be aware of what to do if there is an auto accident. Injuries can be costly in a seemingly endless number of ways with hospitalizations, lost time on the job and long-term concerns. When there is a fatality, the ramifications will be far worse. Knowing how these accidents are often happening on state roadways is just one aspect of being prepared. Accruing evidence such as blood test information and arrest records if the driver was under the influence can be crucial with keeping the options open and achieving a successful result. For advice, it is useful to have experienced guidance to determine how to proceed.