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

Traffic Safety Pulse News

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. Approximately 74% of the pedestrian fatalities recorded last year occurred at night or in low-light conditions. October had the highest number of pedestrian deaths with 33 fatalities in one month. Over the past four years, October and November have been the months when most pedestrian fatalities occurred.

 2023 Pedestrian fatalities nighttime versus daytime graph. Data reported as of 1/24/2024. 81 total fatalities during nighttime, 31 in daytime, and 8 during dawn/dusk.

“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.

A CDOT data graph showing pedestrian fatalities in Colorado from 2018-2023. Total fatality numbers by year are: 2013 - 52, 2014 - 65, 2015 - 64, 2016 - 84, 2017 - 92, 2018 - 90, 2019 - 76, 2020 - 93, 2021 - 94, 2022 - 115, 2023 - 133.

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:

Cars drive past new pedestrian signage on a dark February evening at the intersection of Wadsworth Parkway and 100th Avenue.

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

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