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Driving behavior that affects Denver fatalities and injuries and therefore Denver auto insurance rates.

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By: Kade Phillips, contributing writer at

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), approximately 43,000 people died in automobile related accidents in 2005.

Understanding how and why these fatalities occurred can help Denver area drivers to take preventative measures and reduce the odds that such an unfortunate event could happen to them. 

If collectively, Denver drivers take heed of the following information, it could reduce the number of injuries and fatalities for the Denver area, and make Denver car insurance that much less expensive for all drivers in the Denver area.

Alcohol-related injuries
Incredibly, in this day and age, and with all of the publicity surrounding the issue, alcohol-related accidents still account for the most fatalities on the road. Nationwide, an alcohol-related traffic fatality occurs roughly every 31 minutes and an alcohol-related traffic injury every 2 minutes. (Alcohol-related traffic injury is defined as a driver, or non-occupant of a vehicle, such as a cyclist or pedestrian with alcohol in their blood.)

Almost 17,000 people died in alcohol-related crashes in 2005. This is an incredible statistic. Clearly, this is not acceptable. No one should fool themselves into thinking that they can drink and drive, and all reasonable people should try to prevent others, whether they're driving, or using other methods of transportation, from using the busy roads and highways when under the influence. Easier said than done, but well worth the effort.

The overwhelming lesson here is: Don't be a passenger in a car being driven by someone who has been drinking. (Or taking drugs.)

Interestingly, speeding is cited as the second major factor in automobile related deaths. In 2004, over 13,000 deaths were attributed to speed-related accidents. Speeding was a contributing factor in roughly 30 percent of all fatal accidents. Clearly, the lesson here is to slow down a bit. Shaving a few minutes of travel time is certainly not worth the increased odds of a fatal car crash. 

If you're the passenger in a speeding vehicle, make it clear that you won't continue to be if the driver does not respect your desire to slow down.

Deadly combos - alcohol and speed
The most dangerous situation is the combination of alcohol and speed. Statistically, this is especially true for drivers in the 16 - 24 year old category, although no age is safe to drink, drive and speed. 

Try to discourage others from taking the awful chance of drinking and driving when you encounter it. They will be grateful that you cared enough to do or say something when sober.

Red light running
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) says that red light running results in more than 900 traffic deaths per year, and nearly 2,000 injuries. About half of those deaths are pedestrians and occupants of other vehicles. 

The lesson here is to be extra alert when going through intersections in Denver.

Sleepy and tired driving
Don't get behind the wheel if you're overly tired or sleepy. Pull over and stop until you are alert enough to drive. According to the NHTSA, in 2002, at least 100,000 accidents and approximately 1,500 deaths each year are the result of drivers falling asleep at the wheel. 

Driving when exhausted is something that's happened to most of us at some time or another if we've been driving long enough. The truth is, this seemingly insignificant action is similar to driving under the influence, and it can dramatically increase the risk of accident, death and injury to ourselves and others when we get behind the wheel.

Kade Phillips is a contributing writer at,
Serving Denver car insurance quotes / Auto insurance quotes Denver.
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