Speed, seat belts and impaired driving cause most fatalities on Colorado roads | VailDaily.com

Speed, seat belts and impaired driving cause most fatalities on Colorado roads

Enterprise staff report

According to a report from the Colorado Department of Transportation, the total number of motor vehicle fatalities in the state increased for the second time in seven years in 2013, after steadily declining between 2007 and 2011.

There were 481 motor vehicle fatalities in 2013, a 1.9 percent increase in fatalities from 2012, when there were 472 fatalities. The FY2015 Problem Identification Report provides an annual description of motor vehicle crash characteristics for crashes within the state. The report shows that speeding-related fatalities, unrestrained passenger vehicle occupant fatalities, and fatalities with a driver impaired by alcohol accounted for the three largest proportions of the 481 motor vehicle deaths in 2013: 177 (36.8 percent), 150 (31.2 percent), and an estimated 134 (27.9 percent), respectively.

Though the five year trend data show speeding and alcohol-related fatalities to be improving, the number of unrestrained passenger vehicle occupant fatalities increased 5.4 percent between 2009 and 2013 and by 12.0 percent between 2012 and 2013.

“Focusing prevention efforts on these three areas provides the greatest opportunity to impact the total number of fatalities,” said Darrell Lingk, Director of the Office of Transportation Safety at CDOT. “But there are many other traffic safety issues that also need attention, such as pedestrian safety and impaired driving involving marijuana and other drugs. Local community efforts provide critical programs that help move the needle in terms of decreasing motor vehicle fatalities and serious injury crashes,” he added.

To address the traffic safety issues in the report, CDOT’s Office of Transportation Safety offers grant funds through the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act to agencies, organizations and tribal governments within the state of Colorado that provide programs, projects, services and strategies that are intended to reduce the number of deaths and serious injuries resulting from traffic crashes on Colorado roadways. Grant applications are due April 1, 2015. Priority funding is given for projects that address key traffic safety issues in the state, including impaired driving, occupant protection, pedestrian safety, and distracted driving.

In an effort to help organizations plan for long term success the grant period will be three years, instead of one, as in previous years. The first year grant cycle will begin on or after Oct. 1, 2015. Funding for the second and third years will be based on satisfactory performance, adherence to the program specifications, the availability of funding and the submission of required second and third year application and budget updates.

Detailed information, including the application and the FY2015 Problem Identification Report, is available at:


The total projected funding available is $3.5 million and the average award amount typically ranges from $50,000 to $75,000.

Applications are due to CDOT on April 1 by 3 p.m.

For more information, contact Carol Gould, Highway Safety Manager at CDOT, at carol.gould@state.co.us.

Support Local Journalism