Navigating the Surge in Pedestrian Crashes in Denver: Insights and Solutions

a woman crossing the street using a pedestrian crossing at an intersection

In recent years, Denver has witnessed a troubling surge in pedestrian versus auto crashes, leading to a concerning rise in fatalities. As a personal injury law firm dedicated to ensuring justice for victims, we find it critical to shed light on the potential causes behind this alarming trend and how our Denver pedestrian accident attorneys can help those affected.

Denver’s Pedestrian Safety Dilemma: A Critical Overview

Denver’s streets have become increasingly perilous for pedestrians, with a staggering 28 crash-related deaths reported in 2023 alone. This mirrors the overall trend in Colorado, with approximately 128 pedestrian crash deaths across the state in 2023. The situation is a cause for concern, as it represents a significant increase from previous years, prompting both city officials and citizens to question the root causes of this growing problem.

Key Factors Contributing to Pedestrian Crashes:

  1. Poorly Designed Road Infrastructure:

Poorly designed road infrastructure has a huge impact on pedestrian safety. Denver’s streets, especially those with highways, create a dangerous combination of fast-moving vehicles, inattentive drivers, and pedestrians with no safe spaces or buffer zones to navigate the roadways. Our pedestrian injury lawyers understand the complexities of these cases and work diligently to hold accountable those responsible for such hazardous conditions. Unfortunately, many of those responsible for the design of these dangerous roadways cannot be sued because of governmental immunity and a legislative fix may be required.

  1. Larger Vehicles and Speeding:

The surge in pedestrian fatalities is also attributed to the size and speed of vehicles, particularly SUVs and trucks. Statistics show that vehicles with taller front ends, such as trucks and SUVs, are significantly more likely to cause fatalities in pedestrian crashes. If you or a loved one has suffered due to such incidents, our Denver pedestrian accident attorneys can provide the legal support needed to pursue justice.

  1. Lack of Traffic Law Enforcement:

Another concerning aspect highlighted in the article is the perceived lack of traffic law enforcement. Speeding and reckless driving often go unchecked, contributing to the rising number of pedestrian crashes. Records show that 83 percent of traffic deaths were caused by vehicles traveling over 30mph. Unfortunately, police forces are understaffed and issuing fewer citations. When the police don’t enforce the traffic laws, more people break them. This leads to the deadly outcome we now see on our streets. Our team is still committed to holding negligent drivers accountable for their actions and seeking compensation for victims. The deterrent effect of tort law can help create a safer environment for us all. 

  1. Changes in Jaywalking Regulations:

The decriminalization of jaywalking in Denver has sparked debate about its impact on pedestrian safety. While some argue that it contributes to increased crashes, others believe the focus should be on redesigning the infrastructure to accommodate safer pedestrian crossings. Our Denver pedestrian accident attorneys are well-versed in navigating such legal complexities to ensure the best possible outcomes for our clients.

  1. Vision Zero Initiative:

In 2015, Denver embarked on the Vision Zero initiative, a comprehensive strategy aimed at eliminating traffic-related deaths by 2030. However, the recent surge in pedestrian fatalities has raised questions about the effectiveness of this campaign. City officials insist that prioritizing mass transit, bike lanes, and pedestrian traffic will eventually lead to fewer crashes, injuries, and deaths, but acknowledge that it might take time to see the desired results.

  1. Statewide Trends:

The pedestrian deaths in Denver are not isolated incidents; they mirror what’s happening statewide. Colorado, too, has experienced a record-breaking high in pedestrian crash deaths, surpassing the significant increase observed post-pandemic. Preliminary data from the Colorado Department of Transportation’s dashboard indicates 128 pedestrian crash deaths reported in 2023, making it imperative for both state and city officials to address this alarming trend.

Additional Factors: 

  1. Distracted Driving and Cell Phone Use:

A significant and growing concern contributing to pedestrian crashes is distracted driving, particularly due to cell phone use. The prevalence of smartphones has led to an increase in drivers engaging in activities such as texting, browsing, or talking on their phones while behind the wheel. Our Denver pedestrian accident attorneys recognize the dangers posed by distracted driving and work diligently to hold those responsible for such negligence accountable. Using a cellphone while driving is the same as driving under the influence of alcohol above the legal limit. However, when you look around it seems like almost everyone is doing it. This is a conscious choice and it will take police enforcement or civil lawsuits to make sure people change their behaviors. 

  1. Increased Size of Screens in Modern Vehicles:

Modern vehicles are equipped with larger and more sophisticated screens, often serving as infotainment centers. While these screens offer advanced features, they also contribute to distracted driving as drivers interact with complex interfaces. The increased size of screens in modern vehicles can divert drivers’ attention away from the road, leading to potentially fatal consequences for pedestrians. Our legal team is well-versed in addressing cases involving distracted driving and the impact of advanced vehicle technologies.


How Our Denver Pedestrian Accident Attorneys Can Help:

If you or a loved one has fallen victim to a pedestrian crash in Denver, seeking legal assistance is crucial. Our experienced pedestrian injury lawyers specialize in navigating the intricacies of such cases, offering comprehensive support to victims. From investigating the incident to building a strong case against the responsible parties, our team is committed to securing the compensation and justice you deserve.

Our legal services include:

  1. Thorough Case Investigation:

Our Denver pedestrian accident attorneys conduct thorough investigations into the circumstances surrounding the pedestrian crash. This includes gathering evidence, interviewing witnesses, and collaborating with accident reconstruction experts to build a comprehensive understanding of the incident.

  1. Legal Representation:

We provide strong legal representation for victims seeking justice. Our team is experienced in negotiating with insurance companies and pursuing legal action against negligent drivers or even entities responsible for poorly designed road infrastructure in certain situations.

  1. Expert Testimony:

In complex cases, we enlist the expertise of accident reconstruction specialists, medical professionals, and other relevant experts to provide testimony that strengthens our clients’ cases.

  1. Navigating Jaywalking Decriminalization Implications:

With the recent decriminalization of jaywalking in Denver, our attorneys are well-versed in navigating the legal implications of this change. Whether it involves advocating for safer pedestrian infrastructure or addressing concerns related to jaywalking, we are committed to understanding and utilizing the latest legal developments in our clients’ favor.

  1. Collaboration with City Officials:

Our law firm actively collaborates with city officials and relevant authorities to address systemic issues contributing to pedestrian crashes. By advocating for safer road designs, increased traffic law enforcement, and the implementation of Vision Zero initiatives, we strive to create lasting changes that prioritize pedestrian safety.

The rising number of pedestrian crashes in Denver demands attention and action. As your trusted Denver pedestrian accident attorneys, we are here to advocate for your rights and hold negligent parties accountable. If you’ve been affected by a pedestrian crash, don’t hesitate to reach out to our dedicated team for a consultation. Together, we can work towards a safer and more just Denver for pedestrians.