KRDO interviewed the Colorado Springs Police Department to find the top reasons for motor vehicle crash fatalities in 2018. The top three reasons were impaired driving, distracted driving, and speeding.
These factors have serious consequences. By January 12, 2019, there had already been two traffic-related deaths according to the Colorado Springs Police Department. According to the Colorado Department of Transportation, that number has now risen to 198 as of June 11, 2019.
Marijuana is the second largest reason for impaired driving crashes—alcohol remains first—and is on the rise. The percentage of motor vehicle crash deaths in which at least one driver has tested positive for drugs has almost doubled over the past decade.
Driving impaired increases a person’s risk of being in a crash 36 times, while dialing a cell phone number increases a person’s risk of getting in a crash by 6 times. Driving impaired is 6 times more likely than dialing a cell phone number to increase your chance of getting in a car crash.
Three in five people will be involved in a crash due to impaired driving in their lifetime. If that statistic holds, with a total population of 700,000 in the area, approximately 420,000 residents of Colorado Springs will be involved in an impaired driving crash in their lifetime.
One in four drivers involved in a crash used their cell phone right before the crash happened. Many people use hands-free devices while driving, which is safer than using a device that is not hands free, although it still increases your chances of being in a crash four times more than it would have if you were talking to another passenger.
Put into real terms, the problem becomes obvious. When you are driving 55 MPH and you look away for just five seconds, you will have traveled the entire length of a football field without looking at the road. In that time, you have no idea what the other vehicles on the road may have done.
There are more distractions while driving than just your phone. Twenty percent of drivers say they have styled their hair from behind the wheel; over 80 percent of drivers say they have engaged in hazardous actions while driving including, steering with a foot, painting their nails, and shaving.
Speeding is a serious problem as 30 percent of all traffic fatalities involve speeding. Teen drivers, in particular, are more likely to speed and follow at shorter distances than older, more experienced drivers.
Speeding-related crashes cost Americans $40.4 billion each year. But many people don’t believe their speeding is the problem. Forty-two percent of drivers say that they do not consider 10 MPH over the speed limit a problem. Another 10 percent said that they do not consider 20 MPH over the speed limit a problem.
What to Do If You Have Been Injured in A Car Crash
With all of the dangers on our roads, it is not a small chance you will be in a car crash. If you or a loved one have been injured in an auto crash see our article about what to do if you have been injured in an auto accident, you can also call us at (719) 634-6450 for a FREE case consultation or contact us online.