How Many Motor Vehicle Crashes Resulting in Injury Occur in Colorado?
The Colorado Department of Transportation 2021 Problem Identification Report – available for download here – contains a wealth of information regarding traffic accidents in our state. Page 13 of the report contains a graph showing that the number of serious injuries from motor vehicle crashes in Colorado remained relatively steady from the years 2015 to 2019.
In that span of time, the number of accidents resulting in serious injury within the state averaged 3,087 per year.
The term “serious injury” is, for the purpose of the report, defined as an incapacitating injury that inhibits a crash victim’s ability to walk, drive, or pursue activities that they had been able to engage prior to being injured.
It shouldn’t be much of a surprise that the bulk of the motor vehicle accidents that cause serious injury in Colorado happen in some of our most populous counties. The report breaks down the number of such accidents that took place in 2019 as follows:
- Denver County – 502 serious injuries
- Arapahoe County – 360 serious injuries
- Adams County – 301 serious injuries
- El Paso County – 281 serious injuries
- Jefferson County – 236 serious injuries
Gender & Age
Figure 10 on page 15 of the report also confirms through data what most people would consider common knowledge – that males are involved in more vehicle crashes than their female counterparts. Specifically, men accounted for nearly two-thirds of all hospitalizations stemming from auto accidents in 2019. Table 4 on the following page presents hospital discharge data compiled by the Colorado Hospital Association and shows that Coloradans ages 65 and older had the highest car accident hospitalization rate of any age group in that year. Males, however, in the 55-64 age group had the highest car accident hospitalization rate overall compared to other age and gender groups.
Motor vehicle passengers overwhelmingly account for the majority of serious injuries caused by auto accidents in Colorado. A motor vehicle can be a car, van, SUV, pickup truck, motorcycle, and the like. The following is a percentage breakdown illustrating the type of motor vehicle that an individual was either operating or riding in when seriously injured in a crash in 2019:
- Car/Van – 40 percent
- SUV – 25 percent
- Motorcycle – 19 percent
- Pickup Truck – 14 percent
- Other – 2 percent
Common Causes of Auto Accidents
Experts agree that auto accidents in Colorado and other states are generally caused by human error. The below list looks at the most common causes of auto accidents:
Approximately 40 percent of all car crashes are caused by distracted driving. In Colorado, texting while driving is prohibited.
Driving over the speed limit – or too fast for the weather conditions – simply makes accidents more likely to happen. It also makes accidents more serious than they otherwise would be.
Driving Under the Influence
One should never operate a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. According to the CDC, From 2009-2018, over 1,500 people were killed in crashes involving an alcohol-impaired driver in Colorado.
Reckless driving is a class 2 traffic misdemeanor in Colorado and occurs when a driver exhibits wanton disregard for the safety of others.
A disproportionate number of auto accidents resulting in serious injury in Colorado and elsewhere are caused by inexperienced, usually teen, drivers. Teens are also far more likely to text and drive, drink and drive, speed, and not wear their seatbelts.
Contact Whalen Hersh Today
Have you or a loved one been seriously injured in an auto accident in Colorado? If so, skilled legal representation is available from Whalen Hersh – a dynamic and results-oriented team of Colorado lawyers who strictly represent personal injury claimants against insurance companies and corporations. Let a car accident lawyer from Whalen Hersh speak with you in detail about all your legal rights and options moving forward.