Colorado Traffic Fatalities up 29 Percent Since 2014

Traffic fatalities in Colorado reached 642 deaths in 2017, an increase of 6 percent from the previous year. CDOT says the increase is due to roadway users making poor choices from not buckling up to driving impaired or using their phones. Sixteen percent of Coloradans do not buckle up despite the seat belt law, causing the state to rank 36th in seatbelt use in the country.  

There were 220 unbuckled fatalities in passenger vehicle crashes in 2017. One optimistic part of the data shows motorcyclists killed has declined by 20 percent to 101 in 2017.  Most of those motorcyclists killed were not wearing helmets. Pedestrian fatalities increased again in 2017 to 93 and bicycle fatalities remained stagnant.

According to CDOT, Colorado lacks many of the protections that other states have, including primary enforcement of the seat belt law and a hands-free law for mobile devices.

CDOT awarded $3.5 million in fiscal year 2017 to non-profit organizations, law enforcement, and local government agencies to conduct programs aimed at reducing crashes. Many of these programs address alcohol-related crashes, which account for about one-third of fatalities in Colorado.