Summer Months are Deadliest for Pedestrians in Colorado
There is a lot to love about Colorado in the summer. That is probably why so many people visit the Centennial State when the weather starts to warm. But the influx of traffic as both Coloradans and those visiting from elsewhere increases the risks of accidents for everyone on the road.
The Colorado Department of Transportation calls the three-month stretch between Memorial Day and Labor Day “the 100 Deadliest Days of Summer.” More fatal traffic accidents happen across the state during that time than in any other part of the year.
Pedestrians are at particular risk.
Last year, fatal accidents involving pedestrians doubled between May and September. A total of 68 pedestrians were killed during that time.
“Our state’s population has grown significantly, and with more people out walking this time of year, the need is greater than ever to be alert at all times,” Col. Matthew C. Packard, chief of the Colorado State Patrol, said in a statement in which CSP and CDOT rolled out new data on fatal crashes.
Several factors are to blame, according to CSP and CDOT, including an increase in cars, motorcycles and teen drivers on the road during summer months. That is not to mention what they called a “historic increase” in drivers getting behind the wheel while impaired by drugs or alcohol.
The data show Colorado marked a grisly record last year: The highest number of pedestrian deaths in traffic accidents.
A total of 111 pedestrians were killed on streets and roads across the state last year, according to the transportation department. That is up about 18% from the previous year, CDOT data show.
“There is no contest between a vehicle and a person on foot, bicycle, skateboard, or scooter,” Packard said. “Drivers have to stay alert and watch for the unexpected.”
Colorado is Getting More Dangerous for Pedestrians
Pedestrian deaths are already on the rise again this year, CDOT said.
More than 50 pedestrians were killed in accidents throughout Colorado in the first six months of the year. That is up about 14% compared to the first half of last year.
Denver County has seen the most pedestrian fatalities this year, with nine people killed in accidents. El Paso (7), Arapahoe (7) and Jefferson (7) counties are not far behind.
At least two Denver pedestrians were struck and killed in the span of two days in June.
The first person died after being hit by a car in an overnight accident near Empower Field at Mile High, KDVR reports. The victim was not identified at the time of the accident.
Two days later, a 46-year-old man was mowed down near South Havana Street and East Tennessee Avenue on the border of Denver and Aurora. He was crossing the street when he was struck by a Toyota Highlander.
The uptick is particularly noticeable in El Paso and Jefferson, counties that saw just one pedestrian death each in all of last year.
Driver error is often to blame in these and other traffic accidents. Drivers are required to remain alert behind the wheel, not to mention mindful of pedestrians. Drivers who hit the road while fatigued or under the influence of alcohol and those who become distracted behind the wheel pose a serious safety risk.
But drivers are not always at fault when pedestrian accidents happen.
“Pedestrians also need to unplug, look up and follow traffic safety rules, Packard said in the statement. “When we all share the same roadways, we all share the same responsibility.”
Wrongful Death Claims for Pedestrian Accidents
The loved ones of a person who dies in a pedestrian or other traffic accident generally have the right under Colorado law to seek compensation from those responsible for the collision.
The money damages are meant to compensate family members for the financial impact of losing a loved one. That includes compensation for medical and burial costs as well as the loss of the person’s financial and emotional support.
No amount of money can ever allow you to go back in time, stop an accident from happening. A wrongful death action can, however, help ease the financial strain that often comes with the loss of a loved one. It can also provide a certain level of closure by getting justice and ensuring that those responsible are made accountable for their actions.
State law limits who can pursue a wrongful death case to spouses, children and parents. In the event that a person dies without a spouse, child or parent, the personal representative of his or her estate can sue for wrongful death.
In order to successfully pursue a wrongful death claim you have to be able to prove that a driver or other party is legally liable for your loved one’s death.
Negligent drivers are often to blame in car accidents. Drivers are required under Colorado law to operate their vehicles in a reasonably safe manner. That means complying with traffic laws, avoiding distraction, staying off the road when fatigued and refraining from dangerous activity like texting and driving or getting behind the wheel while intoxicated.
A driver who does not live up to this responsibility is generally considered liable for any accidents and injuries that happen as a result.
An experienced attorney can help you identify the person or entity responsible for an accident and seek compensation. A Denver personal injury lawyer at Levine Law can also help you navigate the legal process and negotiate with insurers and others to avoid a long, drawn-out court battle.
Speak with a Denver Car Accident Lawyer
If you or a loved one has been injured in a hit and run or other crash in Colorado, a Denver car accident lawyer at Levine Law can help you take action. Our attorneys combine decades of experience and a strong track record of success in the courtroom and through negotiated settlements.
We are pleased to serve clients throughout Colorado, including in Denver, Colorado Springs, Ft. Collins and Loveland. Call us at 303-333-8000 or contact us online to speak with a Denver car accident lawyer.