Colorado State Troopers responding to more crashes in 2022 than last year
Given that the goal is to keep people alive and safe, practicing safe driving behaviors would seem to be a no-brainer.
During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2021, alarm bells sounded when Colorado hit a 20-year high in traffic fatalities with 672 deaths. Given that we were just beginning to come out of a two-year public health crisis, it would have been reasonable to expect that road deaths would be down, and as 2022 arrived, people would have become a bit more cautious in their driving habits after such a scare.
The opposite has happened and the crash fatality picture has not improved for the State of Colorado in 2022. According to the Colorado Department of Transportation, this past weekend Colorado hit 700 deaths and troopers know this number will continue to grow through the holiday season, until motorists change their risky behaviors.
“Driving is an essential part of most people’s lives and just like many routine behaviors, people begin to ease off the rules and safety guidelines over time. Yet the consequences for reduced focus and declining lawful choices behind the wheel can result in a deadly outcome,” said Colorado State Patrol Chief Col. Matthew C. Packard. “Every driver is accountable for how we choose to drive; are you doing your part?”
Looking at the top fatal and injury crash factors investigated by the Colorado State Patrol from January through November 2022, the top five include:
- Lane Violation Crashes
- Impaired Driving Crashes
- Driving Distracted Crashes
- Exceeding Safe/Legal Speed Crashes
- Failing to Yield the Right of Way Crashes
While it could be expected perhaps that the weekend (Friday – Sunday) continues to be the most dangerous days on the road, the most common timeframe for crashes is surprising. Crashes are peaking between the hours of 2:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m.
“You don’t have to wait until you or someone you love is directly impacted by a violent crash to care about safety on our roadways,” stated Col. Packard. “Be a part of the change. Let’s make sure we do our part to have patience and drive sober on the roads so that we end this year with one less tragedy.”
Troopers continue to take a low-tolerance approach to lane violations while launching a yearlong campaign called “Stay in Your Lane.” This campaign is designed to remind people to control their lane position based on their current driving environment. This campaign also aims to bring attention to three of the most common and avoidable behaviors that contribute to lane violations – driving aggressively, driving distracted or driving while impaired.