The majestic beauty of the Colorado Mountains is known the world over as some of nature’s most impressive work. Unfortunately, some of the roadways that pass through them are known as the country’s most dangerous. In fact, the breathtaking vistas are often blamed for causing accidents here in the Centennial State – people are too busy taking in the view to focus on the task at hand – driving safely.
The Denver injury attorneys at Lonn Heymann Law Firm, P.C. know that Colorado draws visitors from around the world — tourists who come here to experience the sheer beauty of the awe-inspiring landscape. Yet some of the state’s roads and highways present dangerous challenges for motorists – especially to those unfamiliar with the area or the challenges of driving a mountainous terrain.
|Accidents on Denver County’s Dangerous Roads
Traffic Deaths from 1994 to 2008
Roads with Highest Death Counts from 1994-2008
Source: Scripps Howard News Service
The Million Dollar Highway, (U.S. 550), which runs from Ouray to Silverton, has been called “the most dangerous highway in the world”. The lack of guardrails in some spots, coupled with the road’s proximity to a potentially precipitous fall should you veer slightly offline, may justify the ominous title.
Yet even more threatening to Colorado drivers are the dangerous roads that carry daily commuters, interstate and cross-country trucks and millions of tourists every year. Earlier this year, the Scripps Howard News Service published the results of a nationwide study of the country’s most dangerous roads. Entitled “Killer Roads”, the research, which was reported via hundreds of Scripps television and newspaper outlets across the country, studied 562,712 fatal vehicle accidents as reported to the U.S. Department of Transportation from 1994 to 2008.
One of the categories covered was the percentage of fatal accidents caused by either speeding or drunk driving, and the percentage of people killed who were found to have not been wearing a seatbelt. Ranked in order by state, the news for Colorado was not good. The state ranked number 6 nationwide in those categories, with 36.7% of all fatal crashes caused by drinking and driving, 39.3% by excessive speed, and a shocking 67.2% of people who were not buckled up.
Colorado’s Interstate 70, which is a portion of the first interstate constructed in the United States, is also notorious for frequent accidents. The Colorado Department of Transportation reports that the road is frequently shut down due to motor vehicle crashes, many of them involving large commercial trucks and semi tractor-trailers passing through the state. Rockslides and other debris are also a hazard.
Interstate 70 is known as one of Colorado’s most congested thoroughfares, and there is concern that things will only get worse in the future. A 2007 study by the Metropolitan Denver Chamber of Commerce found that almost 10% of all of Colorado’s traffic accidents happened on I-70 in 2003. The report further states that heavy congestion often leads to road rage, which increases the likelihood of an accident. The dangers are expected to increase unless serious steps are taken to improve safety and traffic flow, the report concluded.
Dangerous roads are often the cause of life-shattering motor vehicle crashes, even in one of the most picturesque states in the country. If you or a loved one has been injured as a result of an accident on a dangerous street, road or highway in Colorado, call the Denver injury lawyers at Lonn Heymann Law Firm, P.C.. We will fight for the compensation you deserve, and aggressively represent you on your journey to justice.