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Top 6 Most Common Causes of Colorado Car Crashes

Avoid these six common reasons why car accidents happen in Colorado

common causes of car accidents in Colorado

More than 600 people lost their lives on Colorado's roadways in 2016, thanks in part to what some state officials are calling “an epidemic of distracted driving.” Thousands more are seriously injured each year. What’s worse, the Colorado Department of Transportation reports that this number is on the rise.

Experts agree that most traffic crashes in Colorado happen because of human error. When negligence plays a role in a car accident, the injured party may choose to sue the at-fault driver for damages such as medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering. Colorado car accident cases are increasing throughout the state and it’s important to hire an experienced attorney if you find yourself in this legal situation.

Listed below are six of the most common causes of car crashes in Colorado.

1. Distracted driving

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that failing to properly observe road signs and traffic plays a role in approximately 40 percent of crashes. With new distractions for drivers like smartphones and GPS systems, as well as old distractions like reaching for something on the vehicle floor or fiddling with the radio, failing to pay full attention on the road is a growing problem.

Even looking away for just a few seconds can result in a devastating crash. Colorado law prohibits texting while driving.


Engineers design roads for travel at a certain speed. The safety of other drivers and yourself depends on people observing speed limits. When a driver chooses to speed, they're not able to negotiate the road in a safe way and are more likely to lose control of their vehicle.

Other drivers may also not be able to react to a speeding driver as easily as they would if they weren’t speeding. Driving fast makes accidents more likely to happen and makes crashes that occur more serious than they might have been otherwise.

3. Driving drunk

Each day, 29 people die in alcohol-related crashes in the United States. Alcohol is a depressant that affects the central nervous system. The higher a person's alcohol levels, the less they’re able to react to changing events in a sufficiently safe way. As a person's alcohol levels rise, their ability to react and respond quickly decreases.

The legal limit isn't a made up number. It's the result of comprehensive federal studies on the effects of alcohol and how it causes accidents. In Colorado, the DWAI law starts at 0.05 percent (BAC) whereas most states start with a 0.8 percent BAC. However, alcohol can still contribute to a crash even when a driver has a lower bodily alcohol content.

The lesson is you should never drink and drive under any circumstances.

4. Drugged driving

Drugged driving involves driving while under the influence of marijuana, prescription drugs or illegal drugs like cocaine or heroin. As with alcohol, a person who uses drugs often can't self identify their own level of impairment. They might not know that they're unable to safely drive a vehicle. If you're taking prescription medications, it's up to you to know the effects of the medicine before you drive.

Colorado law prohibits driving with more than 5 nanograms of active THC in your blood. It's also illegal to drive under the influence of any illegal drug regardless of how much of it you have in your body. Drugged driving cases pose a challenge for law enforcement, because there isn't a breath test to test for drugs like there is for alcohol.

5. Reckless driving

When a person drives in a way that shows a wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property, they're considered a reckless driver. Reckless driving is a class 2 traffic misdemeanor crime in Colorado. Reckless driving occurs when a driver operates in a way that disregards the safety of others.

For example, driving at an extremely high speed, drag racing, weaving in and out of traffic and aggressively cutting off other drivers can all amount to reckless driving.

6. Inexperienced drivers

Safe driving is a skill that takes practice. Teen drivers are responsible for a disproportionately large number of traffic crashes—not only in Colorado but nationwide. They're more likely to make basic errors that can result in a crash. Teen drivers are also more likely to drink and drive, text and drive, speed and fail to wear their seat belt.

What to do when a Colorado car crash occurs

After a crash, an experienced Colorado attorney can help you investigate to determine the cause. When a car accident occurs because someone else acted negligently, drove recklessly or were intoxicated, you may be able to recover from the responsible party for your damages.

At Denver’s Babcock Law Firm, we can assist you to make the process of bringing a car accident claim manageable and effective as you seek fair compensation for your losses. Contact us today for a free consultation.

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