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Danger Zones – Deadly Driving in Colorado

Have you ever wondered where the most drunk driving accidents occur in Colorado? How about the roads where you might be more likely to encounter dangerous distracted drivers? The map above makes it easy for you to see the Danger Zones in Colorado by tracking reports of fatal crashes related to alcohol, drugs and distracted driving. Click on the boxes next to the different types of accidents to narrow or widen your mapped results, and decide for yourself what areas you might want to avoid. Scroll down to see an age breakdown for those involved in the various types of fatal crashes.

Age breakdown bargraphs for contributing factors (2018)

< swipe to view full graph > * Note that the NHTSA did not start labeling "Careless/Inattentive Driving" as a factor until 2012. * Note that the NHTSA no longer includes the "Distracted Driving" data element in its web query results.

How Does Age Factor Into Fatal Accident Data?

Fatal crashes may have one cause or multiple contributing factors. The number of drivers in Colorado involved in deadly accidents while using alcohol or drugs has steadily increased in recent years. Even so, careless/inattentive driving is the leading contributing factor among drivers in fatal crashes. Recognizing the growing problem of distracted driving, federal transportation researchers in 2012 started categorizing Careless/Inattentive Driving as a separate contributing factor. Viewing the federal fatal crash data by age reveals that drivers ages 21 to 34 account for the largest share of fatal crashes in Colorado year after year. Drivers ages 65 and older are involved in fewer fatal crashes overall, but are the largest group of drivers listed in fatal accidents involving failure to yield. The crash data comes from the Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS), a federal database of motor vehicle accidents on public roads that resulted in one or more traffic deaths. A driver may be listed in up to four categories for contributing factors to a fatal crash.

“A text really is a 5-second blindfold.” Culturally, we have grown phone-dependent to the point that sending a text or checking email feels almost as second-nature as breathing or blinking. That’s why we ask all Colorado drivers to come together and protect each other by driving distraction-free.

Darrell Lingk, Director of the CDOT’s Office of Transportation Safety