Every Wednesday, displays on Colorado roadways will now be featuring a memorial for the victims of deadly auto accidents, according to officials at the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT). Known as the Wednesday Memorial, this display will reportedly include “a weekly tally of the year-to-date deaths on Colorado roadways,” along with “safety messages aimed at reducing crashes.
The goal of this weekly memorial, which CDOT rolled out at the end of January, is to promote a continued awareness of traffic-related deaths and, in doing so, encourage safe driving habits.
Wednesday Memorials Spurred by 2015 Surge in Colorado Traffic Deaths
One of the various factors that likely led to CDOT’s new Wednesday Memorials is the finding that, in 2015, traffic fatalities in Colorado rose an estimated 10 percent (when compared to the death rate for 2014). In fact, as CDOT has pointed out, preliminary data indicates that at least 545 people were killed in fatal motor vehicle accidents in Colorado in 2015 (as compared to 488 traffic-related deaths in 2014).
What may be just as troubling as the spike in traffic fatalities in 2015 is the fact that the majority of these deaths could have been prevented if motorists had made safer choices behind the wheel. This fact is highlighted by the following findings:
- Alcohol impairment was a factor in nearly 1 in every 3 of the traffic-related deaths that occurred in Colorado in 2015.
- Nearly 50% of the people killed in a fatal wreck in Colorado in 2015 were not wearing their seatbelts at the time of the collision.
Commenting on these findings, CDOT Executive Director Shailen Bhatt has explained that:
Every fatality is one too many, which is why we are doubling down on our traffic safety outreach in 2016… For example, we know that at least 60 lives could be saved if everyone wore their seat belts. Therefore, we will be doing additional outreach to increase the seat belt usage in Colorado.
Scott Hernandez, Chief of the Colorado State Patrol, expressed similar concerns, noting that:
Fatal crashes are a tragic ending for hundreds of people in Colorado each year… These crashes are absolutely preventable. We encourage drivers to make good decisions and avoid distractions while driving.
Tips for Avoiding a Fatal Auto Accident
To avoid becoming a statistic and minimize your risk of a fatal auto accident, here are some essential tips to remember and practice on the roads:
- Always buckle up – It could reduce your risk of sustaining fatal injuries when a crash occurs by as much as 50 percent.
- Always follow traffic laws, including speed limits.
- Never drive distracted or drunk.
- Practice defensive driving.
Contact Littleton & Englewood Attorney D.J. Banovitz
If you have been hurt in an auto accident – or if you have lost a loved one in fatal traffic crash, contact Littleton & Englewood Attorney D.J. Banovitz for vigorous representation and effective legal advocacy moving forward.
To discuss your potential case and options for justice, contact Attorney D.J. Banovitz by calling (303) 300-5060 or by sending our firm an email via the contact form on this page.
From offices based in Englewood, Colorado, Attorney D.J. Banovitz provides the highest quality representation to injured people throughout Arapahoe County, Denver County, Douglas County and the state of Colorado.