Fatal crashes in area up by 33 percent since last year

Airbags deployed on traffic crash.
Airbags deployed on traffic crash.(KKTV)
Published: Aug. 22, 2020 at 3:56 PM MDT
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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KKTV) -It’s been a tragic time on the roads so far in 2020.

There have been two deadly crashes here in Colorado Springs in just the 24 hours. One on the intersection of East Cucherras and Institute involving a dirt bike, the other on North Union at Acacia Drive, involving multiple cars.

According to AAA Colorado, fatal traffic accidents are up 33 percent so far this year in the Southern Colorado region. Experts tell 11 NEWS this is especially alarming, with less people out on the roads.

“There’s been about 80 fatalities in southern Colorado at this point--there was 60 at this point last year and that’s really surprising because traffic is down,” Skyler McKinley, Director of Public Affairs for AAA Colorado said. “So what that data indicates to me is that folks who are driving--there are fewer of them that are driving more dangerously.”

AAA adds there are multiple reasons the number of fatal accidents are going up: things like rusty drivers who haven’t been out much because of the Stay-At-Home Orders, or reckless drivers taking advantage of the empty traffic.

“Some common-sense tips to that means, no tailgating, never drive distracted, never drive drunk, and it could be as simple as use your blinker,” McKinley said.

Sometimes accidents just happen, but its steps like this that help prevent someone from witnessing or being a part one.

“I looked up and I just saw this white Jeep or SUV swerving--it had lost control, hit the median and rolled at least three if not four times,” Donna Mast said. Mast saw the accident on North Union at Acacia Drive Friday night.

Lessons from the pandemic can also be applied to the roads.

I think in our culture right now really cognizant of how her choices can impact others,” McKinley said. “That’s why we social distance, that’s why folks choose to wear masks, you need to apply that same strategy to the roads and really be considerate knowing that lives on the line.”

Another thing AAA wants you to remember is to always wear a seat belt.

Both of those crashes over the past 24 hours are still under investigation.

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