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Colorado’s back-to-school crashes spiked since 2018


DENVER (KDVR) — Roads have gotten deadlier in the 2020s and back-to-school season is no exception.

Over the last decade, traffic deaths in Colorado have been on the rise, and state officials are making it a priority to take action to reverse this trend. Colorado lost nearly 750 lives to traffic fatalities in 2022. This is the most roadway deaths in the state since 1981. 

As fledgling drivers return to high school and college in August and September, the number of traffic deaths within school-age groups has risen as well, according to a traffic study from USA Today.

‘We found that from 2018 to 2021, August and September fatalities among 16- to 24-year-olds increased by 8% nationwide,” reads the study. “In some states, the increase in traffic fatalities was as high as 325%.”

Colorado had the eighth-highest increase in summertime fatal crashes, rising 47% between 2018 and 2021. Colorado’s rate of traffic fatalities among people between 16 and 24 years old, however, ranks 28th among U.S. states.

The number of traffic fatalities involving people in this age group increased by 325% in Massachusetts, 77% in Washington and 75% in Illinois. Meanwhile, deaths only decreased in a dozen states. Back-to-school fatalities decreased by 45% in Kentucky, 46% in Louisiana and 75% in Idaho.

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