Not only have Colorado accident deaths decreased, but so have the overall number of traffic accident related deaths nationwide. This is quite an accomplishment considering that traffic accidents have been steadily on the rise from 1950-2008. According to a study recently released by U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, in 2009 the fatalities resulting from a traffic accident are the lowest they have been since 1950. In 2009 the death toll decreased to 33,808 – a 9.7% decline from the 2008 figure of 37,423.
This is good news for motorists everywhere, particularly in the state of Colorado. Traffic related deaths in Colorado dropped by 15% in 2009.
Another thing to consider is that not only have general traffic accident deaths decreased, but drunk driving related deaths have plummeted also. “The Heat Is On” program headed by the Colorado State Patrol has undoubtedly contributed to the drastic increase in public awareness to be careful and avoid driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs. The Colorado State Patrol has demonstrated increased intolerance for drunk driving and has made every attempt to remind Coloradans of what they risk (not only for themselves, but also for their families) by driving while intoxicated.
Since implementing the “Heat Is On” campaign, alcohol related deaths in Colorado have drastically decreased, contributing to the overall decrease of Colorado accidents that result in a fatality. In fact, alcohol related deaths dropped by 10% in 2009 in the state of Colorado.
To discuss this more in depth, it is also worth mentioning that alcohol related deaths from motorcycle accidents have decreased in Colorado as well. On a national level, motorcycle accidents involving alcohol impairment (either by the motorcyclist or driver of the other vehicle) have decreased by a staggering 16%. A motorcycle accident now accounts for only 13% of total traffic accident deaths and have finally broken their 11-year habit of increasing annually.
Are cars and motorcycles getting safer or are drivers being more careful? Are government implemented educational programs such as the “Heat Is On” campaign in Colorado finally getting through to people? It’s hard to say for sure, but one thing is certain: less people are dying from car accidents in Colorado and nationwide despite the fact that the miles driven by American motorists increased by 0.2% in 2009. Car accident related injuries declined by 5.5% in 2009 as well. Whatever the cause of these declines, the important thing is that the roads seem to finally be getting safer.