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Colorado car accident statistics

Colorado’s car accident deaths are up 39% compared to 2011. See what leads to these deaths.

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Colorado sits in the middle of the US in terms of how many fatal accidents as well as car accident deaths happen here. However, every state has room to improve safety on its roads. Over a third of deadly crashes in Colorado are related to speeding, and one-fifth of deadly crashes include a motorcycle.

We analyzed the most recent available car crash data over a 10-year span from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). We compare the main factors and demographics involved in the Centennial State’s fatal accidents.

We analyzed the most recent available car crash data over a 10-year span from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). We compare the main factors and demographics involved in the Centennial State’s fatal accidents.

Colorado’s car accident deaths are 1.4 times higher than 10 years ago.

Car accident deaths have increased 39% and fatal accidents 41% when you look at 2011 fatalities versus 2020.

In 2020 alone, deaths jumped 4% and fatal crashes jumped 5% over the previous year.

See how the numbers of people killed and fatal accidents change over time in Colorado, based on 2011-2020 crash data from the NHTSA’s Fatality and Injury Reporting Tool.

YearPeople killed in car accidentsFatal car accidents

21- to 25-year-olds most at risk of dying in car accidents

Young people ages 21-25 die the most often in car accidents, accounting for about 12% of Colorado’s total deaths each year.

To compare, deaths in this age group are 21% higher than for ages 16-20 and 26-30, based on fatalities from the last 10 years.

Age groupPeople killed in car accidents, 2020People killed in car accidents, 2011-2020

Men die 2.7 times more often than women in car accidents

Each year in Colorado, 405 men die in car accidents compared to 149 women.

Unfortunately, the difference between genders was even higher in 2020. Men died 2.8 times more often than women in fatal crashes that year.

GenderTotal car accident deaths, 2020Total car accident deaths, 2011-2020Average deaths per year

Each year, pedestrians make up 13% of people killed in car crashes

Spanning 10 years from 2011-2020, 713 pedestrians were killed in car accidents in Colorado. However, 87 pedestrians were killed in 2020, which is 1.2 times higher than average.

Speeding involved in over a third of Colorado’s fatal crashes

Speeding is a major problem for Coloradoans, playing a role in 36% of the state’s fatal crashes. This percentage considers crash numbers from the last 10 years in the state.

However, drunk driving deaths in Colorado match the national average.

ViolationFatal car crashes, 2011-2020% of Colorado fatal crashes involving violation% of US fatal crashes involving violation
Drunk driving (blood alcohol content of 0.08+)1,47429%29%

19% of fatal crashes involve motorcycles each year

In Colorado, 988 fatal accidents included a vehicle colliding with a motorcycle from 2011-2020. Those numbers mean that nearly one-fifth of Colorado’s fatal crashes involve motorcycles.

As you might expect, collisions are more serious for motorcyclists because they lack protection between themselves and vehicles.

The 10 deadliest cities for driving in Colorado

Denver takes the infamous spot as the worst city for driving in Colorado. Deadly accidents happen in Denver 1.4 times more often than in Colorado Springs, the second-deadliest city.

However, fatal accidents decrease sharply across the 10 deadliest cities. For example, Denver’s number of fatal crashes is seven times higher than Grand Junction’s, the tenth-deadliest city on our list.

RankMost dangerous citiesFatal car accidents, 2011-2020
2Colorado Springs328
8Fort Collins71
9Commerce City62
10Grand Junction62

Urban vs. rural living: Fatal crashes happen 1.3 times more often near major cities

Every year, 289 fatal crashes happen in urban Colorado versus 220 in rural spots. We based this average on crash numbers from the 10 years between 2011 and 2020.

Safest cities for driving in Colorado

These 50 cities in Colorado all have a history of road safety, counting one fatal accident in a 10-year span. Check whether your city made the list of Colorado’s safest cities for driving.

  • Aspen
  • Ault
  • Avondale
  • Bayfield
  • Bristol
  • Carbondale
  • Central City
  • Coal Creek
  • Colorado City
  • Columbine Valley
  • Craig
  • Cripple Creek
  • Deer Trail
  • Divide
  • Edwards
  • Elbert
  • Granby
  • Grover
  • Gunnison
  • Gypsum
  • Highlands Ranch
  • Holly
  • Iliff
  • Julesburg
  • Kremmling
  • Lamar
  • Lyons
  • Milner
  • Minturn
  • Moffat
  • Monte Vista
  • Monument
  • Nederland
  • Raymer
  • Oak Creek
  • Olathe
  • Paonia
  • Penrose
  • Peetz
  • Pierce
  • Rocky Ford
  • Salida
  • Sedgwick
  • Silverthorne
  • Simla
  • Springfield
  • Steamboat Springs
  • Swink
  • Timnath
  • Westcliffe
  • Winter Park

In 2020, rush-hour fatalities increased 33% above average

The deadliest hours for driving in Colorado are the hours between 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. — when most people are leaving work or finding a dinner spot.

Typically, about 123 fatal crashes happen during these hours when you’re considering data across 10 years. However, fatal crashes increased by 33% in 2020, compared to the 10-year average during these hours.

Time of dayHoursFatal car accidents, 2020Fatal car accidents, 2011-2020
OvernightMidnight to 3:59 a.m.61617
Early morning4:00 a.m. to 7:59 a.m.70598
Late morning8:00 a.m. to 11:59 a.m.57677
AfternoonNoon to 3:59 p.m.1111017
Early evening4:00 p.m. to 7:59 p.m.1641227
Late evening8:00 p.m. to 11:59 p.m.111960

Historically, Saturday is the most dangerous day for driving

Saturday trends as the riskiest day to trek across Colorado’s roads, accounting for 93 accidents per year. This number considers the average from 2011 to 2020.

However, the riskiest day switched to Sunday in 2020, with a 31% increase in fatal accidents compared to the 10-year average for this day.

Day of weekFatal car accidents, 2020Fatal car accidents, 2011-2020

August ranks high for fatal car accidents in Colorado

August brought 561 fatal accidents over a 10-year history, or 56 crashes per year on average.

However, July came in as the most dangerous for driving in 2020, seeing a rise in fatal crashes 1.2 times more than normal.

MonthFatal car accidents, 2020Fatal car accidents, 2011-2020

How we sourced our data

We used the most recently available data from the NHTSA’s Fatality and Injury Reporting Tool to compile information about fatal car accidents and the people killed in car accidents in Colorado. We compared data from 2020 as well as data across 10 years from 2011-2020.

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