Traffic accidents continue to make headlines across America as the distracted driving crisis has more drivers checking their cell-phones instead of focusing on the roads. However, the latest statistics show an alarming trend that may not entirely be connected to the surge of small digital devices.
Deaths increased 11 percent in 2016
Including pedestrian, motorcycle, and traditional vehicles, the number of people who died on Colorado roads in 2016 rose to 605, a significant bump from 2015’s 547. This trend has been noticed across the nation, but there are some misleading data regarding who is dying on local streets. Over 20% of those killed were riding motorcycles. Perhaps not a coincidence, Colorado is a state with limited requirements regarding mandatory safety gear for riders.
Lack of seatbelt use is a major factor
Police departments estimate that about 84% of the populace uses seatbelts regularly, but it’s notable that about half of those who died as drivers and passengers in vehicles were not wearing seatbelts. As the population continues to climb and new people discover the wide open spaces of our state, it’s more important than ever for individuals to take responsible action and use all available safety devices in their cars and when riding motorcycles.
“Head’s Up” campaign encourages drivers and pedestrians to stay focused
While headlines often highlight the dangers of drivers texting while rolling down the road, the number of pedestrians walking into traffic while checking their email is also on the increase. Eighty-four people who were walking died after being struck in 2016. Use of Bluetooth devices help smartphone users keep their heads up while walking, but they don’t help when the user wants to look at a picture or tweet. Police in Denver are actively promoting their “Head’s Up” campaign, which reaches out to walkers in an effort to get everyone paying closer attention to their surroundings at all times.
Renewed efforts to increase personal responsibility
Safety officials continue to study how to get drivers, riders and walkers to more care with their personal safety through launching better public service announcements and working with the school systems. Ultimately, the best protection against another distracted driver remains your personal awareness while using seatbelts, child seats, and motorcycle helmets and impact vests can allow you to survive an unexpected collision.
If you’ve been involved in an accident and suffered an injury due to somebody else’s negligent actions, it’s time to reach out to an attorney experienced in personal injury law to ensure your medical bills and expenses are covered by those responsible. Otherwise, make sure to buckle up and look both ways when heading out on Colorado’s busy roads.