More than 70% of Colorado pedestrian fatalities occur in dark conditions

News Release

February 20, 2024 - Statewide Safety News - CDOT urges drivers to be extra vigilant at night

Más del 70 % de las muertes de peatones en Colorado ocurren en condiciones de poca iluminación noticias enespañol

Statewide — According to data recently released by CDOT, pedestrian fatalities soared to a record high in 2023, representing 18.6% of Colorado’s total roadway deaths. The majority of last year’s pedestrian deaths occurred at night or during low-light conditions. With nearly three more weeks of short winter days and extended darkness, CDOT is urging drivers to be cautious and alert while driving at night.

2023 Pedestrian Fatalities nighttime v daytime. 81 deaths occurred at nighttime in 2023 compared to 31 in daytime.
Caption: Nighttime versus daytime pedestrian fatalities using preliminary 2023 data. Nighttime was 81 fatalities, daytime 31 fatalities, dawn/dusk was 8 fatalities.

“Pedestrians don’t go away when it gets dark out, especially this time of year when the sun sets early and rises late,” said CDOT’s Office of Transportation Safety Director Darrell Lingk. “We need a collective commitment from every road user to prioritize safety. Be alert, be aware of your surroundings and treat driving like the immense responsibility it is.”

In the last decade, pedestrian fatalities in Colorado have surged by 96%, with a 16% increase between 2022 and 2023.

Pedestrian Fatalities in Colorado 2013 through 2023. 2023 has had the highest pedestrian fatality count in the 10 year time-span.
Pedestrian Fatalities in Colorado 2013 through 2023.

CDOT is urging individuals and local communities to make pedestrian safety a priority. This can be achieved through slower speeds and improved infrastructure, particularly at intersections where pedestrians cross.

CDOT is actively investing in infrastructure projects to improve pedestrian safety and accessibility as part of the agency's commitment to equity in transportation safety. Examples include:

Pedestrian signage improvements on CO 121 in Westminster
Pedestrian signage improvements on CO 121 in Westminster

CDOT's Revitalizing Main Streets program further underscores the commitment to community-driven safety enhancements, with over $75 million awarded through community grants.

  • In Fruita, the Mesa Street Multimodal Improvements project will create a slow-speed transportation corridor that accommodates pedestrians, cyclists, and vehicles, safely connecting downtown Fruita.
  • In Basalt, the program supports the Midland Avenue Streetscape Revitalization, which will enhance pedestrian space, create public gathering areas, and invigorate the economic and cultural center of the historic community.

For safety tips and resources, visit CDOT’s website.