CDOT Starts Weekly Memorial to Honor Victims of Fatal Crashes
As of the end of January 2016, officials at the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) have been publicizing the number of traffic fatalities that occur each week on the state’s roadways. Although this may seem like a grim statistic to share with motorists, authorities hope that it will be a poignant reminder of the deadly risks that can come with driving, particularly unsafe driving behaviors.
According to CDOT, this digital tally, which was officially kicked off on Wednesday, January 27th, will be updated every Wednesday, with no end date scheduled at this point.
While various factors may have motivated CDOT to start this Memorial, in all likelihood, the surge in traffic deaths in Colorado (and across the U.S.) in 2015 was a major contributing factor. In fact, traffic-related deaths in Colorado increased by about 10 percent in 2015, coming very close to breaking the state record (which was set in 2008).
Nationally, Auto Accident Deaths Have Been On the Rise, Federal Data Reveals
While deadly auto crashes in Colorado increased last year, this trend was also reflected on a national level. In fact, federal data indicates that, in 2015:
- At least 26,000 traffic-related fatalities occurred in the U.S. (up from roughly 23,800 traffic-related deaths recorded in 2014).
- This marked a more than 9 percent hike in the traffic death rate, when compared to 2014.
- The cost of deadly traffic accidents across the U.S. totaled at least $44 billion (when looking at just the losses associated with medical bills and lost productivity).
“These numbers are a call to action,” said Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. “Everyone with a responsibility for road safety – the federal, State and local governments, law enforcement, vehicle manufacturers, safety advocates and road users – needs to reassess our efforts to combat threats to safety. USDOT will redouble our efforts on safety and we expect our partners to do the same.”
Reducing Your Risk of a Fatal Crash
Given that the rising trend in fatal traffic crashes – and the fact that many deadly wrecks are caused by motorists’ behaviors, here are some things you can do to reduce your risk of a traffic crash and get to your destination safely any time you hit the road:
- Put down the distractions and maintain your focus on the road.
- Never drive after drinking alcohol and/or using drugs.
- Only drive when you are well rested, especially if you are going longer distances.
- Always comply with traffic laws.
- Don’t expect other drivers to obey traffic laws, and be ready to appropriately respond to their violations.
- Always wear your seatbelt in passenger vehicles and/or your helmet on motorcycles.
Contact Lakewood Auto Accident Attorney James L. Finegan
Although compensation can never atone for the profound loss of a loved one, pursuing a car accident claim can be essential to helping survivors in the recovery process. If you have lost a loved one in a fatal wreck – or if you have been seriously injured in a traffic crash, contact Lakewood Auto Accident Attorney James L. Finegan at 303-586-2961. You can also send an email via the contact form on this page.
1: Data compiled and reported by the NHTSA, the NSC, & the CDC