DENVER (KDVR) — The year of the COVID pandemic was already a record for U.S. traffic fatalities. It hasn’t gotten any better.
Insurance company QuoteWizard analyzed national crash data and found a 9% increase in traffic fatalities from 2020 to 2021. The trend has continued into the new year, driven by pandemic-borne urban crowds and speeding habits among American drivers. Fatalities are spiking most among city side streets rather than highways.
Colorado’s fatalities are increasing at one of the nation’s highest rates.
The 9% increase in traffic fatalities was not distributed evenly across the U.S. Roughly half of states had increased while the other half experienced downticks.
With a 30% rise, Idaho had the sharpest increase in traffic fatalities in the nation between 2020 and 2021. Minnesota, Nevada, Massachusetts and New Mexico come next.
Colorado ranked 16th in the U.S. for its rate of traffic fatality increase. Fatalities rose by 14%.
The trend is staying consistent in Colorado in 2022 while other states are improving. Traffic fatalities rose by 13% in the first half of 2022 compared to the first half of 2021, the nation’s 11th-highest increase.
The state’s population boom, especially in urban areas, could have something to do with it. Statistics show the biggest jumps in traffic fatalities are happening on city streets.
Nationally, urban collector roads had the highest increase in traffic deaths – 20% from 2020 to 2021. These roads are lower-speed, non-arterial roads. Urban arterial roads, examples of which would include Denver’s University Boulevard or Colfax Avenue, had the second-highest increase in fatalities with 15%.