Colorado could break deadly record as traffic fatalities continue to rise

Published: Nov. 15, 2022 at 6:43 PM MST|Updated: Nov. 16, 2022 at 11:13 AM MST
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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KKTV) - As Colorado Springs is set to break a record for the most traffic deaths seen in the city, Colorado as a whole could see a similar trend.

Colorado Springs has officially seen 51 deaths on the road as of Tuesday. But, a man died after being hit while crossing a road on the southeast side of the city. If the El Paso County coroner rules his cause of death to be caused by the vehicle, this would push this number to 52, surpassing the record set in 2020.

Statewide, the Colorado Department of Transportation reports a similar trend. It reports that traffic deaths have risen 50% since 2011 due to an increase in unsafe drivers. They also say in 2021, they saw the most deaths since 2002. That number was 672, compared to 2002′s 743.

This year, that number has already reached 623. With 2022 seeing an average of about 62 deaths per month, that number might not only surpass 2021′s, but also the record set in 2002.

But to those impacted by these crashes, these statistics are more than just numbers. These are lives. These represent a greater probability of someone else losing someone they love. 11 News has spoken to several people since the year began about these crashes, some of which lost loved ones in some of these crashes. Throughout every crash is one common thread: they urge others to be more careful so that future tragedies may be avoided.

“Don’t put your kids through this; your mom, your dad, your little sisters, your sisters, anybody, don’t do this,” said Crystal Tapia, the sister of Michael Tapia Jr., who was killed in a crash in October.

Police in Colorado Springs share a similar message after the fatality on South Academy on Monday.

“That’s a brother, sister, mom or dad that’s not gonna be around for the holidays,” said Lt. Shannon Snuggs. “Please slow down, drive safe, take your time.”

As for why this trend is happening, officials with CDOT say they have seen more distracted drivers, as well as more people driving without seat belts.

As the numbers stand now, more people have died on the road in Adams County than anywhere else in the state in 2022 so far, with El Paso County close behind. Regardless, this year will go down on record for being one of the deadliest on the road.