DENVER (KDVR) — Despite new safety technology being installed in most new vehicles, the Colorado Department of Transportation reports that deadly crashes are up compared to 2022, with 376 so far this year.

While many prioritize safety on the road, Master Trooper Gary Cutler of Colorado State Patrol told the Problem Solvers reckless driving has become more common over the past two years.

“Not only in the high-end cars, we’ve seen it in the big pickup trucks now we’ve seen it in other cars — people are getting more aggressive,” Cutler said.

A Bader Scott study based on fatal crash information from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration shows the four-door sedan body style is most likely to get into a severe crash in Colorado. Such vehicles were involved in 911 crashes between 2017 to 2021, which is 19.71% of all fatal crashes.

After the sedan, compact utility vehicles rank second with 816 crashes, or 17.65% of all fatal crashes, followed by light pickup trucks and motorcycles.

2020 Census Colorado
FILE—Motorists face a heavy traffic backup in this file photograph taken late Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski, File)

How crashes affect insurance prices

Insurance companies use crash data to set policy premiums.

“We have crash testing now that shows whether these vehicles are crashworthy or they’re not,” said Carole Walker, executive director of the Rocky Mountain Insurance Association.

Other factors that influence cost include a policyholder’s age and driving record. Added safety features can lower your premium.

“They look at those safety ratings and take that into account in giving you a discount or rating you for the amount of insurance you pay for,” Walker said.

Colorado State Patrol warns that even if your vehicle is loaded with new safety technology, it is important to drive responsibly.

“(We have) backing assistance, our side view mirrors have indicators that there’s a car there, but it’s technology, and it can go wrong,” Cutler said.

Law enforcement encourages drivers to stay alert, focused and ready to react to unexpected events on the road.

“We’ve got a lot of new gadgets in our vehicles that allow us to do things that we couldn’t do back in the day, so technology is making it a little safer for us, but it’s also getting it to where people are not paying attention,” Cutler said.