Colorado traffic deaths in 2017 rise to 615, surpassing 2016 total

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — The Colorado Department of Transportation says the state’s traffic death toll has spiked to 615, the highest it’s been since 2004.

The Gazette reports data from the transportation department shows this year’s total reached 615 on Monday.

Last year, the total was 608 — the first time since 2005 that it surpassed 600. State death totals didn’t break 500 for six straight years, from 2009 to 2014.

Officials say the surge is due to impaired or distracted drivers and people not wearing seat belts.

“All three of them are preventable, which is pretty tragic,” said CDOT spokeswoman Michelle Peulen.

According to the data, the issue is worse in El Paso County than any other Colorado county.

El Paso County has a death total of 74, which isn’t surprising since it’s the biggest county in the state.

Adams County followed closely with 64 fatalities.