STATEWIDE (KRDO) -- El Paso County tops the list for most fatal crashes involving lane violations in Colorado in 2021, according to Colorado State Patrol (CSP).
Traffic deaths surged across the state in 2021, hitting a 20-year high. CSP officials say conscious choices to drive distracted, driving under the influence, and driving aggressively are to blame. CSP also says that each of these choices can affect a driver’s ability to stay safely in their lane.
CSP says that in 2021, troopers saw a 30% increase in injury crashes caused by drivers either crossing over the center line or off the side of the road. Investigators also saw a 74% increase in fatal crashes caused by lane violations in 2021.
“Focus and control behind the wheel occurs when the task of driving is your number one priority and receives your full attention,” said CSP Chief Col. Matthew Packard. “No amount of experience behind the wheel can prevent a tragedy when you don’t have the time or the awareness to react to another motorist, changing road conditions or unplanned hazard in your path.”
The top five counties that had the most fatal crashes caused by lane violations in 2021 were:
- El Paso County
- Douglas County
- Boulder County
- Mesa County
- Jefferson County
Data from 2019 to 2021 shows that Saturday was the deadliest day of the week for lane violation crashes. The peak hours on Saturday were between 2 p.m. and 6 p.m.
CSP wants to remind drivers that their primary driving position is so that the vehicle (not the driver) is in the center of the lane with equal amounts of space on both sides. The second lane position is to have the vehicle to the left, yet still safely off the dividing line. This should only be used with caution if drivers are avoiding a hazard on the right side of the lane or if they are slowing down due to road workers or emergency responders on the shoulder. The third lane position is to have the vehicle on the right, yet still safely off the right lane line. This would be used when avoiding a hazard on the left side of the lane.