As a driver or passenger in Colorado, you face a number of potential hazards on a daily basis. From driving distractions to faulty brakes, many of these hazards have to do with the drivers and vehicles around you.
But, there are other hazards on Colorado’s roads as well. In fact, many of these hazards have to do with the conditions of the roads themselves. According to the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT), some of the most-dangerous weather, road and lighting conditions for Colorado drivers are as follows.
Weather, Road and Lighting Conditions as Factors in Colorado Auto Accidents
1. Weather-Related Causes of Auto Accidents
Aside from “none,” CDOT breaks down weather-related causes of auto accidents into five categories: (i) rain, (ii) snow, sleet and hail, (iii) fog, (iv) dust and (v) wind. Of the roughly 1.1 million auto accidents in Colorado over the past decade, approximately 900,000 have not been weather-related (or the weather conditions have not been reported). However, this still means that there have been close to 200,000 weather-related accidents, with the most common factors being:
- Snow, sleet and hail – 60 percent of all weather-related accidents
- Rain – 32 percent
- Wind – 6 percent
- Fog – 2 percent
- Dust – Less than 1 percent
2. Road Hazards that Contribute to Auto Accidents
Similar to weather conditions, road conditions have not factored into the vast majority of accidents in Colorado over the last ten years (approximately 850,000 of the 960,000 over the past decade have not been attributed to road hazards). However, among the roughly 11,000 accidents per year attributable to road conditions, the most prevalent factors have included:
- Wet – 36 percent of all accidents attributable to hazardous road conditions
- Icy – 33 percent
- Snowy – 19 percent
- Slushy – 5 percent
- Wet, Icy, Snowy or Slushy with Road Treatment – 6 percent
- Muddy – 1 percent
3. Lighting Conditions at the Time of the Collision
According to CDOT, the vast majority (approximately 70 percent) of all accidents occur during daylight hours. The remaining 30 percent break down as follows:
- Dark (Lighted Street) – 16 percent
- Dark (Unlighted Street) – 10 percent
- Dawn or Dusk – 4 percent
What Are Your Rights After an Accident Involving Hazardous Conditions?
If you were injured in an accident and you believe that the weather, road or lighting conditions were a factor, how will this affect your claim or financial compensation? The short answer is, “It depends.”
On one hand, if you crashed in icy conditions and there was nothing that anyone could have done to prevented the accident, then your recovery options may be limited. On the other, if someone else was driving too fast for the conditions, or if the road had not been properly treated or maintained, then you could have a strong claim for financial compensation. Every case is different, and to find out what your case is worth you will need to speak with an experienced local attorney.
Free Consultations and Contingency-Fee Representation for Auto Accident Claims in Denver, CO
If you were injured in an auto accident and you have questions about your legal rights, you can contact our Denver personal injury law offices for a free and confidential consultation. Contact us to speak with a member of the firm 24/7, or submit your case online to receive a callback as soon as possible.