Colorado Fatal Accident Study:

Colorado’s Deadliest Roads and Fatal Accident Statistics

There were 1,706 fatal accidents in Colorado from 2018 to 2020. MoneyGeek’s analysis delved into the various factors that contributed to these. Our study also determined the deadliest roads in the state by looking at where fatal crashes frequently occurred.

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Last Updated: 11/25/2022
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MoneyGeek analyzed the 1,706 deadly crashes that occurred in Colorado between 2018 and 2020 to understand what contributes to fatal accidents in the state. Out of the 185,486 miles of road in the Centennial State, MoneyGeek's analysis focused on 758 roads.

We explored how hazardous driving behaviors were involved in fatal accidents. Our data showed how many deadly crashes involved distracted driving, speeding or drunk driving. Another angle our analysis considered was which month most of these incidents happened.

Our study also presented data for Colorado's counties and identified the deadliest stretch of road in each.

Key Findings

  • W. Colfax Avenue from Ingalls Street to N. Broadway is the deadliest stretch of road in Colorado. Between 2018–2020, 17 fatal accidents occurred here.
  • Out of the 1,706 deadly crashes in Colorado, nearly three-quarters involved speeding or drunk driving. Speeding was a factor in 38.9% of fatal accidents, while drunk driving contributed to 33.6% of crashes.
  • Distracted driving was a factor in 8.3% of accidents. That’s 141 crashes resulting in fatalities.
  • August had the most deadly accidents of any month between 2018–2020. The number of fatal crashes totaled 193 (11.3%). July and June had the next highest counts, with 183 (10.7%) and 178 (10.4%), respectively.
  • El Paso County had the highest number of fatal crashes of any county. The majority of these accidents (28) happened on I-25.

10 Deadliest Road Stretches in Colorado


  • DEADLIEST ROAD IN COLORADO
    W. Colfax Avenue from Ingalls Street to N. Broadway
    Lakewood | Denver
    W. Colfax Avenue from Ingalls Street to N. Broadway
    • Fatal Accidents:17
    • fatalities:18
    • Crashes Per Mile:4.2
    • distance:4.1 miles
  • N. Academy Boulevard from Austin Bluffs Parkway to E. Platte Avenue
    Colorado Springs
    N. Academy Boulevard from Austin Bluffs Parkway to E. Platte Avenue
    • Fatal Accidents:15
    • fatalities:15
    • Crashes Per Mile:4.1
    • distance:3.6 miles
  • S. Academy Boulevard from Airport Road to Ronald Reagan Highway
    Fountain | Colorado Springs
    S. Academy Boulevard from Airport Road to Ronald Reagan Highway
    • Fatal Accidents:12
    • fatalities:12
    • Crashes Per Mile:2.8
    • distance:4.3 miles
  • E. Iliff Avenue from S. Tower Road to S. Jamaica Street
    Aurora
    E. Iliff Avenue from S. Tower Road to S. Jamaica Street
    • Fatal Accidents:11
    • fatalities:12
    • Crashes Per Mile:2.3
    • distance:4.8 miles
  • I-25 from Exit 138 to Exit 132A
    Colorado Springs | Fountain
    I-25 from Exit 138 to Exit 132A
    • Fatal Accidents:8
    • fatalities:9
    • Crashes Per Mile:1.6
    • distance:4.9 miles
  • E. Colfax Avenue from Boston Street to Norfolk Street
    Aurora
    E. Colfax Avenue from Boston Street to Norfolk Street
    • Fatal Accidents:8
    • fatalities:8
    • Crashes Per Mile:1.8
    • distance:4.4 miles
  • S. Wadsworth Boulevard from W. Jewell Avenue to W. 23rd Avenue
    Lakewood
    S. Wadsworth Boulevard from W. Jewell Avenue to W. 23rd Avenue
    • Fatal Accidents:7
    • fatalities:8
    • Crashes Per Mile:1.5
    • distance:4.7 miles
  • I-70 from Exit 277 to Exit 282
    Denver
    I-70 from Exit 277 to Exit 282
    • Fatal Accidents:7
    • fatalities:7
    • Crashes Per Mile:1.4
    • distance:4.9 miles
  • I-225 from E. Mississippi Avenue to Exit 2B
    Aurora
    I-225 from E. Mississippi Avenue to Exit 2B
    • Fatal Accidents:6
    • fatalities:8
    • Crashes Per Mile:1.3
    • distance:4.5 miles
  • CanAm Highway from Weld County Road 6 1/4 to County Road 14 1/2
    Fort Lupton
    CanAm Highway from Weld County Road 6 1/4 to County Road 14 1/2
    • Fatal Accidents:6
    • fatalities:7
    • Crashes Per Mile:1.4
    • distance:4.3 miles

Drunk Driving Involved in 33.6% of Fatal Accidents

With 1,706 fatal crashes occurring in Colorado between 2018 and 2020, our analysis found that drunk driving contributed to 33.6% of these incidents. That's 574 collisions resulting in fatalities.

Drinking and driving are never a good combination. Even the smallest amount of alcohol in your system impairs your driving abilities. For example, a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08% makes you legally drunk in Colorado. However, a lower BAC already puts you and your passengers in a dangerous situation.

Your BAC reaches 0.02% after about two alcoholic drinks. At this point, you may have difficulty tracking a moving object (such as pedestrians or other vehicles) and multitasking.

Even in situations that don't lead to fatal accidents, drunk driving can leave you with long-term and potentially expensive repercussions. The cost of drunk driving isn't limited to paying fines. You might also lose your driving privileges and face jail time if caught.

A DUI on your record makes finding cheap auto insurance in Colorado challenging. You'll need to secure SR-22 insurance in Colorado, which costs more than other coverage types.

Speeding Is a Factor in 38.9% of Fatal Crashes

Between 2019 and 2020, the number of speeding-related fatalities in the U.S. increased by around 17%. In Colorado, speeding was a factor in 38.9% of all deadly crashes recorded. Out of 1,706 fatal collisions, 664 involved speeding.

Driving above the allowable speed limit can present multiple hazards. For example, controlling your car becomes more challenging, making a crash more likely. A higher driving speed also increases a collision's impact — you're more likely to sustain severe injuries in an accident.

Distracted Driving Contributed to 8.3% of Fatal Accidents

Although distracted driving only contributed to 8.3% of deadly crashes from 2018 to 2020, that's still 141 recorded incidents. Colorado is currently running its Distractions Reactions Campaign, highlighting the dangers of distracted driving.

Besides that, Colorado state law prohibits minors from using mobile phones while behind the wheel. Adults, in comparison, can take regular calls as long as they wear headphones. However, they cannot use their cellphones to send text messages either.

August Had More Fatal Accidents Than Any Other Month

According to MoneyGeek's analysis, August was when the most deadly crashes occurred. The recorded incidents totaled 193, accounting for 11.3% of all fatal accidents in Colorado between 2018 and 2020.

July and June were the months with the following highest figures. Each recorded 183 (10.7%) and 178 (10.4%) fatal collisions, respectively.

Average Fatal Accidents by Month
Month
Fatal Accidents
Drunk Driving Related
Distracted Driving Related
Winter Conditions
Speeding Related
% of Total

January

112

39

10

4

36

6.6%

February

90

27

8

9

32

5.3%

March

114

37

9

2

42

6.7%

April

125

41

13

2

44

7.3%

May

145

42

9

1

59

8.5%

June

178

59

16

1

73

10.4%

July

183

59

17

0

78

10.7%

August

193

74

14

0

74

11.3%

September

155

51

17

0

55

9.1%

October

148

55

7

3

65

8.7%

November

136

45

11

2

52

8.0%

December

127

45

10

6

54

7.4%

Driving Safely Protects You, Others and Your Wallet

Being a safe driver doesn't just benefit Colorado's roadways — it helps you save money in the long term. Sometimes, accidents are unavoidable. No matter how careful you are, you might find yourself involved in one, which is why having auto insurance is crucial. A full coverage car insurance policy protects you and your passengers after a crash.

MoneyGeek puts the average cost of car insurance in Colorado at $1,450 per year. However, your premium may vary depending on where you live. For example, drivers looking for car insurance in Aurora spend around $1,512 per year, on average. In comparison, auto insurance in Fort Collins costs $400 less, at $1,112 annually. You’ll pay an average of $1,447 per year for car insurance in Denver — the state's most populous city.

Remember that MoneyGeek's analysis presents averages. Providers may offer you varying rates based on your unique profile, which considers factors like your age and driving history. It's best to compare estimates to help you find the cheapest car insurance company for your needs.

Fatal Accidents and Most Dangerous Roads: County Breakdown

Out of the total number of incidents in Colorado, the top five counties with the most deadly accidents make up 44% of all deadly crashes. That's 815 fatal accidents recorded from 2018 to 2020.

The county with the highest figure was El Paso, with 219 deadly crashes. Most of these accidents involved drunk driving (96) or speeding (86) and happened along I-25.

Fatal Accidents and Contributing Factors By County
County
Fatal Accidents
Drunk Driving Related
Distracted Driving Related
Speeding Related
Most Deadly Road (Fatal Accidents)

El Paso

219

96

10

86

I-25 (28)

Denver

165

49

8

62

US-40 W Colfax Ave (13)

Adams

160

56

12

62

I-76 (8)

Weld

146

45

12

44

US-85 (23)

Arapahoe

125

52

7

47

E Iliff Ave (11)

Jefferson

122

36

4

50

I-70 (9)

Larimer

89

29

9

31

US-287 (10)

Pueblo

81

28

6

34

I-25 (13)

Boulder

58

18

1

20

US-36 (4)

Douglas

49

14

5

25

SR-83 (9)

Mesa

46

18

3

24

I-70 (8)

Garfield

24

10

4

10

I-70 (9)

La Plata

19

9

2

9

US-160 (8)

Morgan

18

9

3

7

I-76 (8)

Gunnison

17

5

2

10

US-50 (12)

Fremont

17

6

2

4

US-50 (7)

Montrose

17

5

3

9

US-50 (3)

Delta

16

3

3

6

SR-92 (4)

Logan

14

5

1

3

I-76 (6)

Park

14

2

0

8

US-285 (8)

Washington

13

3

3

7

US-34 (4)

Elbert

13

2

1

5

I-70 (7)

Chaffee

12

3

0

3

US-285 (4)

Montezuma

11

3

0

3

US-160 (4)

Huerfano

11

2

1

0

I-25 (5)

Grand

10

2

1

2

US-40 (7)

Otero

10

1

2

1

SR-10 (3)

Broomfield

10

6

0

3

SR-121 (1)

Alamosa

10

3

4

4

US-160 (3)

Eagle

10

4

1

5

I-70 (6)

Las Animas

10

3

1

4

I-25 (6)

Routt

9

4

2

5

US-40 (3)

Pitkin

9

1

2

4

SR-82 (5)

Teller

9

0

1

1

US-24 (5)

Lincoln

9

1

1

7

I-70 (4)

Kit Carson

9

4

2

4

US-24 (2)

Custer

9

4

1

6

SR-96 (4)

Saguache

8

3

0

3

US-285 (5)

Costilla

8

1

1

3

US-160 (5)

Prowers

6

3

0

1

US-50 (3)

Jackson

6

3

1

4

SR-14 (2)

Archuleta

6

2

1

2

US-160 (6)

Mineral

6

2

0

5

US-160 (5)

Moffat

6

2

1

5

SR-13 (2)

Summit

6

1

0

2

US-6 (2)

Ouray

6

0

4

3

US-550 (6)

Rio Grande

6

0

2

1

Cr-14 (1)

Clear Creek

5

2

1

2

Cr-Alvarado Rd (1)

Baca

5

2

0

0

US-287 (2)

Yuma

5

1

1

2

US-385 (2)

Crowley

5

3

1

0

SR-96 (4)

Rio Blanco

4

1

3

1

SR-13 (2)

Cheyenne

4

1

2

1

US-40 (2)

San Juan

4

1

0

2

US-550 (2)

Kiowa

3

0

0

1

SR-96 (2)

San Miguel

3

2

0

2

SR-141 (2)

Sedgwick

3

1

0

2

I-76 (2)

Bent

3

0

2

1

Cr-12 (1)

Phillips

2

0

0

2

Cr-53 (1)

Dolores

2

1

0

1

Cr-1 Point 7 (1)

Conejos

1

1

1

1

SR-17 (1)

Gilpin

1

0

0

1

Cr-Central City Pkwy (1)

Hinsdale

1

0

0

0

SR-149 (1)

Lake

1

0

0

1

SR-91 (1)

Methodology

For this analysis, MoneyGeek utilized 2018, 2019 and 2020 fatality data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Fatal Accident Reporting System's (FARS) database. Currently, 2020 is the latest data available in the system.

About the Author


expert-profile

Doug Milnes is the head of marketing and communications at MoneyGeek. He has spent more than a decade in corporate finance performing valuations for Duff and Phelps and financial planning and analysis for various companies including OpenTable. He holds a master’s degree in Predictive Analytics (Data Science) from Northwestern University and is a CFA charter holder. Doug geeks out on building financial and predictive models and using data to make informed decisions.


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