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Colorado traffic fatalities climb 29 percent in 3 years

Drivers across Colorado already have to worry about inclement weather, seasonal snowfall and steep mountain roads, but now they have a new concern. According to, the number of fatalities on the state's roadways has climbed nearly 30 percent over the last three years, with 630 people losing their lives on Colorado roads in 2017 alone.

What are some of the factors contributing to this rise? While abusing substances before getting behind the wheel and otherwise driving distracted are often factors in roadway fatalities, Colorado has also experienced a steady influx of new residents into the state in recent years. In addition to the sheer number of people sharing the same roads, some of these new residents may not have practice driving in winter weather, or at high elevations.

By the numbers

While it is unclear just how much a role Colorado's rising population has on the number of traffic fatalities in the state, it is clear that people who do not consistently wear seat belts are contributing to the problem. Of the 630 people who died on Colorado roads in 2017, 211 of them were not wearing seat belts at the time of their accidents. Also adding to the rising number of fatalities seen on Colorado roadways are improperly installed car seats. Research suggests that three out of every four Colorado car or booster seats are not installed correctly.

Make a difference 

So, what can drivers do to help reduce these numbers, and help ensure that more people do not lose their lives unnecessarily across the state? Safety advocates believe that an important step in safe driving involves recognizing how selfish it is to do anything other than follow the rules of the road. Additionally, wearing a seat belt, refraining from using a phone while driving and abstaining from drugs or alcohol before getting behind the wheel can help enhance road safety for everyone.

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