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Colorado State Patrol Aims to Reduce Fatal and Injury Crashes by 5 Percent in 2018 After Falling Short in 2017

by  on  Car & Motor Vehicle Accidents

In 2017, the Colorado State Patrol (CSP) set a goal to reduce the total number of fatal and injury crashes investigated by state troopers by five percent. Unfortunately, the CSP’s 2017 Annual Report shows that this goal was not met. The total number of fatal and injury crashes dropped by three percent – from 4,103 to 3,981—but crash-related fatalities actually increased by more than 12 percent, from 318 to 357.

While the total of 3,981 fatal and injury crashes in 2017 was the lowest in the past three years, it was still higher than the total in any year from 2009—2014. As a result, the Colorado State Patrol has once again set a goal to reduce serious motor vehicle accidents in the state during 2018. According to the CSP’s 2018 Strategic Plan, it hopes to:

  • “Reduce by 5% the number of fatal and injury crashes invested by troopers statewide in CY 2018.”
  • “Reduce by 5% the number of DUI/DUID caused fatal and injury crashes investigated by troopers statewide in CY 2018.”
  • “Reduce by 5% the number of unrestrained occupant fatalities in motor vehicle crashes investigated by troopers statewide in CY 2018.”

If the CSP’s initiative is successful, this would mean 200 less injury-involved vehicle collisions in 2018. While this would be an obvious improvement, it would still mean that the total number of accidents would be higher than in any of the five years prior to 2015.

Why are Auto Accident Injuries and Deaths Trending Upward in Colorado?

What is to blame for the recent increase in serious and fatal auto accidents in Colorado – including the all-time high of 4,103 in 2016? The CSP’s 2017 Annual Report points to a couple of noteworthy factors:

First, the number of alcohol and drug-related auto accidents has increased substantially over the past five years. After dropping to a five-year low in 2013, these accidents increased significantly each year through 2016—and dropped off only slightly in 2017. The dangers of impaired driving are well-known; and, according to the CSP, alcohol and drug-involved crashes are more than four times more likely to result in fatalities than other accidents.

Second, it appears that seat belt use in Colorado is declining. While the CSP investigated 119 accidents involving unrestrained fatalities in 2016, this number jumped by more than 23 percent – to 155—in 2017. Driving without a seatbelt is a secondary offense in Colorado (meaning that the police can ticket you if they pull you over for another offense), though drivers with child passengers can be stopped for failing to buckle their backseat passengers.

Have You Been Injured or Lost a Loved One in a Vehicle Collision?

Will the CSP meet its goals for 2018? Only time will tell. In the meantime, if you or a loved one has been seriously or fatally injured in an accident, it is important that you speak with an attorney about your legal rights. To schedule a free, no-obligation consultation at our law offices in Denver, please call  303-333-8000 or tell us about the accident online today.