As the year drew to a close, the Colorado State Patrol (CSP) announced that seven crashes within three days had recently claimed nine lives on Colorado roads. All of them, according to the CSP, were preventable.
As of Dec. 27, the number of fatalities for the year was at 600. Even though that’s slightly lower than last year, it still makes 2018 one of the deadliest for Colorado drivers in the past decade.
The head of the CSP, Chief Matthew Packard, said “Selfish driving caused each one of these crashes. Inattentive. Impairment. Just not paying attention.” He calls it an “epidemic.” He said to the public, “Step up and be better drivers.”
A driver allegedly under the influence of marijuana and alcohol is being blamed for a Christmas Eve crash on Interstate 70 that killed a mother and put her 6-year-old daughter in the hospital.
The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) says it’s taking steps that could help prevent or at least lessen the severity of crashes like that one. The area of I-70 where it occurred didn’t have guardrails.
A CDOT spokeswoman says that they’re placing continuous guardrails between Genesee and Morrison. The $2.5 million project is scheduled to be finished within the next few months. She says the added guardrails should “reduce the severity of crashes, and…possibly help prevent a car going eastbound and crossing over to westbound.”
Improvements along Colorado interstates and roads can indeed help save lives. However, reckless, negligent, impaired and distracted drivers can and should be held responsible for their actions. Regardless of what criminal penalties they face, victims and surviving loved ones can hold at-fault drivers accountable in civil court. This can help families seek the compensation they need and deserve.