Colorado Teen Crash Fatalities Increased in 2017

Busy highway in Colorado at duskTeen drivers are some of the most vulnerable motorists on the road. The simple and unavoidable fact of their inexperience means they have less knowhow as they navigate various driving hazards, changing weather conditions and unexpected situations on the road, not to mention less experience with handling and controlling the vehicle.

Busy highway in Colorado at duskTeen drivers are some of the most vulnerable motorists on the road. The simple and unavoidable fact of their inexperience means they have less knowhow as they navigate various driving hazards, changing weather conditions and unexpected situations on the road, not to mention less experience with handling and controlling the vehicle. Tragically, the number of teen car crash fatalities in Colorado increased last year, a troubling development our law firm wants to help address. Please read below for more information about this issue and what you can do to prevent teen driving accidents.

Teen Traffic Fatalities Up 22% in Colorado Last Year

In 2017, 67 people between the ages of 15 and 20 were killed in motor vehicle crashes, according to a recent report from the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT). In 2016, 55 teens in that age group were killed in these incidents, so there was a 22 percent increase in such deaths last year. Tragically, 2017 had the highest number of traffic deaths in that age group since 2008.

Each one of these deaths is an irrevocable loss. Our hearts go out to the families affected. While nothing can undo those losses, we do hope to provide education and awareness to help prevent similar fatalities today.

How Does Graduated Driver Licensing Help?

Teens outdoors near Greeley, ColoradoThe Colorado Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL) law is designed to account for lack of teen driver experience. According to CDOT, the GDL program was created in 1999, when a tragic accident in Greeley killed a 16-year-old driver and his 3 teen passengers. The young driver had just recently received his driver's license and reportedly failed to stop at a stop sign.

The GDL program recognizes that teens build their driving skills gradually, and that establishing certain restrictions allow them the time to build these skills while mitigating the risks of their inexperience.

Restrictions in place for GDL include:

  • Limited number and age of passengers
  • Banned cell phone use
  • Required seat belt use for all passengers and the driver, all of the time
  • Curfew: Driving not permitted between midnight and 5 a.m. the first year of your license
  • Required driver education

There are exceptions and the restrictions may vary by county. Visit the CDOT teen driving page for more information.

Curfew and passenger restrictions were added to the law in 2002. There was a 67 percent drop in deaths of teens age 15-19 from 2002 to 2011, after these changes were made. Graduated licensing laws decrease teen deaths, and they are an important way to prevent injury to our children.

What You Can Do to Protect Your Teen

For many parents, teaching their teenage children to drive is nothing if not nerve-wracking. Take a few deep breaths, remember to be patient and remind yourself that this is your opportunity to instill safe driving habits.

Here are a few tips for teaching your teen how to drive:

  • Learn and remember the teen driving restrictions in Colorado
  • Make sure your head is clear and you are in the right frame of mind for driving with your teen
  • Schedule plenty of time when you go out to practice driving, so that neither you nor your teen feels rushed
  • Build up to traffic and crowded roads gradually, with driving first around parking lots and quiet streets
  • When you are first teaching them to drive, go out in sunny, clear weather, gradually building up to more difficult conditions and low light
  • Begin with the basics – parking, reversing and braking – then build up to advanced skills like merging, changing lanes, intersections, etc.

You are a role model for your teen driver. Teaching them how to drive takes place even when you are the one behind the wheel. You should model good driving behavior like staying calm, defensive driving and attentive driving. Don't use your phone! Texting and driving are one of the factors that contribute to teen driving accidents.

What to Do if Someone has Already Been Injured

Accidents happen all the time, oftentimes despite our best efforts to lower our risk. You cannot control the behavior of other people, and you or your teen may find yourself facing the aftermath of a serious accident. In Boulder, Colorado, car accident attorney Chris Jeffress fights aggressively on behalf of people who have suffered injuries because of someone else's negligence. To arrange a complimentary consultation, please call our Northern Colorado law firm at 303-732-6634.

Summer Road Trip Safety Tips

Family getting ready for a road trip in Boulder COIn Colorado, July is a popular time for summer travel. The kids are out of school and it's a great season to use your vacation time from work. Many families hit the open road, and our state is an excellent starting point.

Family getting ready for a road trip in Boulder COIn Colorado, July is a popular time for summer travel. The kids are out of school and it's a great season to use your vacation time from work. Many families hit the open road, and our state is an excellent starting point. Many of the country's most famous landmarks are within a 6-12 hour drive from here, including Mount Rushmore, the Four Corners region, and an array of national parks and monuments.

You want to see the sights while keeping your family safe on the road. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the summer and early fall are the most dangerous times of year on America's roadways. More people are out driving, for longer hours, and alcohol use increases as well.

While you cannot eliminate the risk of a car accident, you can certainly take steps to reduce your risk:

  • Check for recalls before leaving. Vehicle recalls have decreased since 2016, but there are still many vehicles with unrepaired recalls. It's important to get the problem fixed if it applies to your car. To check for recalls, enter the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) here: www.nhtsa.gov/recalls.
  • Perform recommended maintenance or tune ups. Routine and regular maintenance as recommended by the manufacturer are important to keeping your vehicle in good working order. Additionally, in the week or two before your trip, be sure to check the tire pressure, check all the fluids, get an oil change if it's due, check your lights and the wiper blades.
  • Equip vehicle with basic emergency items. It's always a good idea to prepare for an emergency, such as a breakdown or delay. Pack a basic first aid kit, a couple gallons of water, high-calorie energy bars/snacks and jumper cables. You should also make sure you have everything you need to change a tire and that the spare tire is properly inflated.
  • Don't drive distracted. Texting, arguing, trying to break up a skirmish between your kids – these things take your hands and eyes away from the task of driving. Be sure to stay focused on the road and ask your passengers for help with navigation.
  • Take breaks and get a full night's rest. As you plan your itinerary, be sure to include places to pull over and get out of the car. Stretch and let your eyes relax for a while. Don't plan to drive into the nighttime hours. It's important to get good sleep to be alert and focused while you drive.

These are just several suggestions. You can also visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration for more tips.

If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident because of someone else's negligence, please call the law firm of Chris Jeffress in Boulder, Colorado, at 303-993-8685, for a free case review. Mr. Jeffress has helped numerous accident victims recover compensation for injuries suffered through no fault of their own.

How to Visit Boulder Breweries Without Driving

Boulder couple enjoying a craft beer on the patioWith 24 or so breweries at the moment, Boulder is a destination for beer enthusiasts. The first day of summer is this week, June 21, and across the Front Range we're already seeing plenty of hot temps and boundless sunshine. Locals and out-of-towners alike flock to brewery patios across our city this pleasant time of year.

Boulder couple enjoying a craft beer on the patioWith 24 or so breweries at the moment, Boulder is a destination for beer enthusiasts. The first day of summer is this week, June 21, and across the Front Range we're already seeing plenty of hot temps and boundless sunshine. Locals and out-of-towners alike flock to brewery patios across our city this pleasant time of year.

There's nothing like a cold craft beer on a hot day, but you may quickly realize you shouldn't be driving. Drunk and buzzed driving remain one of the leading causes of car crashes across our state and the entire nation. About 29 people are killed each day in drunk driving accidents, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. So how can you enjoy a few brews while avoiding an accident?

Boulder Flatirons on a cloudy dayAnother great thing about Boulder is you don't have to drive to sample brews across town over a summer weekend. Here are a few ideas for touring several breweries without driving:

  • Take public transportation. Boulder has robust public transit. In fact, if you are flying into Denver International Airport, you can take an RTD bus from there to Boulder, no rental car required.
  • The kitschy way: Take a pedicab. Cyclists pulling carriage-like carts can take you almost anywhere you want to go in town. And there are usually plenty of them available nearby brewery hotspots, especially on weekends. Simply hail one and let them know where you are going.
  • Uber/Lyft. These transportation network companies, as we call them in Colorado, make getting a ride a piece of cake. Use your app to hail one and take you to the next brewery or back to your lodging.
  • Boulder taxis. Even with an abundance of Ubers and Lyfts, tried-and-true taxi cabs remain an option as well. Google "Boulder taxis" to get a list and contact information.
  • Consider an organized tour. There are several companies that provide guided tours, both walking tours and bus tours. Let someone else do the driving while you focus on tasting. Some of them also provide information about the area as part of the tour.
  • Walking may be an option. Many summer days in Boulder are sunny, warm and clear, all day long. Many brewers are in close proximity to one another and to lodging, meaning you can easily plan your own short walking route to several breweries, and then stroll back to your hotel afterward.

Attorney Chris Jeffress wants his community and fellow Boulder residents, as well as visitors to our city, to have a safe summer that's full of great experiences. To learn more about our law firm, or if you think you may have a car accident case, please call our office at 303-993-8685.

Distracted Driving Awareness Month

Distracted driving who is texting in Boulder COApril is a nationally designated month to raise awareness of the dangers of distracted driving, which took the lives of 3,450 people in 2016. Doubtless this deadly trend continued in 2017 and into 2018.

Here are the most common forms of distracted driving:

Distracted driving who is texting in Boulder COApril is a nationally designated month to raise awareness of the dangers of distracted driving, which took the lives of 3,450 people in 2016. Doubtless this deadly trend continued in 2017 and into 2018.

Here are the most common forms of distracted driving:

  • Reading, sending or typing a text
  • Talking on a phone
  • Getting preoccupied with your in-dash navigation or audio system
  • Trying to make adjustments to your navigation as you drive
  • Eating
  • Personal grooming
  • Applying makeup
  • Reading anything – a map, a book, an electronic screen etc.
  • Arguing
  • Trying to break up a fight between your children in the backseat
  • Daydreaming or obsessing about something that happened at work

As you can see, there are many things that can distract from the task of driving. As motorists, it is our responsibility to focus only on driving. Even if it is the trip you make day after day, the same route to and from work or your children's school, new challenges arise every second on our roads. Concentration is a skill necessary to avoid accidents.

Consider these startling statistics for the year of 2016, when the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration last collected data:

  • 3,450 people killed because of distracted driving
  • 391,000 injured because of distracted driving
  • 481,000 motorists are using cell phones during the day, while driving

Don't become a statistic like this, and don't let your family and passengers suffer this type of injury or fatality either. Concentrate on the task at hand and spread the word about the dangers of distracted driving.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a distracted driving accident in Boulder, Broomfield or any of the surrounding areas, please call experienced accident attorney Chris Jeffress, at 303-993-8685, for a free case evaluation.

Marijuana and Driving High in Colorado

Police stop for DUI accident in BoulderIt is legal for adults 21 and older to use and possess (up to 1 ounce) marijuana in Boulder, but it is illegal and dangerous to drive high. Law enforcement observes behavior to detect whether a driver who has been pulled over is likely too high to drive.

Police stop for DUI accident in BoulderIt is legal for adults 21 and older to use and possess (up to 1 ounce) marijuana in Boulder, but it is illegal and dangerous to drive high. Law enforcement observes behavior to detect whether a driver who has been pulled over is likely too high to drive. If you or a family member has been injured in a car accident caused by an impaired driver, you may be able to pursue compensation with the help of attorney Chris Jeffress.

Colorado Law Related to Driving High

It is dangerous to drive with any amount of marijuana in your system. But according to Colorado law, it is illegal to drive with a whole blood concentration of five nanograms of active tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). These drivers can be charged with DUI; however, unlike alcohol, there is no breathalyzer or other device police officers can use to test marijuana in the blood when someone is pulled over. Law enforcement in our state is trained to observe the signs of marijuana impairment, which may lead to arrest. Medical marijuana will not change the scenario of an arrest.

Accidents in Colorado Related to Marijuana

Driving high in Colorado and auto accidentsLate last year, legislation was enacted requiring arresting officers to report the specific drugs involved in the DUI arrest. So, for the first time in our State, a report must be made identifying whether marijuana, alcohol, pharmaceuticals or some other drug was involved in a DUI arrest. This is great news for coming years, because the State will have more data to better understand the prevalence of marijuana-related accidents. There are current statistics as well:

  • 77 crash fatalities in Colorado in 2016 involved drivers impaired by THC
  • 50 percent of users report driving high in the last 30 days
  • In 2016, more than 17 percent of DUI arrests by the Colorado State Patrol involved marijuana
  • 55 percent of respondents to a CDOT survey said they thought it was safe to drive under the influence of marijuana

*These statistics come from the Colorado Department of Transportation.

Effects of Marijuana on Driving Ability

With more than half of respondents to a CDOT survey saying it is safe to drive under the influence of marijuana, there seems to be a lack of clarity regarding the drug's effects. Any substance that leads to impairment, which would include marijuana, affects driving. For marijuana specifically, here are the potential hazards related to driving:

  • Slows the time it takes to react
  • Impairs cognition, including reasoning and judgement
  • Impairs decision-making abilities
  • Interferes with ability to stay in one lane and track within the lane
  • Makes it difficult to divide attention between all aspects of driving and challenges on the road

Even for a motorist who feels like they are fine driving high, there are dangerous physiological and cognitive effects that may feel muted to the user. Driving requires full attention and concentration. Impairment not only causes crashes under normal conditions, but certainly when something sudden and unexpected – like brake lights seemingly out of nowhere – occurs.

Have You Been Injured by an Impaired Driver?

As a Colorado motorist, you have a reasonable expectation that other people you share the road with aren't driving high, drunk or otherwise impaired. Unfortunately, we all know this is not always the case. If a driver under the influence of marijuana, alcohol or another drug caused the accident that injured you, then Boulder crash attorney Chris Jeffress wants to hear about it. During a free case evaluation, you and he can discuss the details of your claim and determine your options for pursuing maximum compensation. Our law firm proudly serves the surrounding Front Range areas, including Longmont and Broomfield. Please call us today at 303-993-8685.

How to be a Responsible Driver in Work Zones

There are hundreds of construction and maintenance projects performed on Colorado roadways each year. Unfortunately, these zones can be dangerous if motorists do not take proper precautions. According to the Colorado Department of Transportation, in 2011, there were 830 traffic accidents in work zones, resulting in 96 injuries and 10 fatalities. You may have heard of the tragedy that occurred just this week, when a 64-year-old CDOT employee died about a week after being struck by a passing vehicle while he was filling potholes in Pagosa Springs.

Work zones can be dangerous, but we can all do our part to prevent these tragic accidents. Patience, reducing your speed and staying alert are all things that can go a long way in protecting yourself, your occupants, other motorists and the men and women working on our state's roadways.

If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident, and if you think it was caused by someone else's negligence, please call the law firm of Chris Jeffress in Boulder at 303-993-8685.

Latest Statistics Show Accident Deaths Increased in 2016

Motor vehicle statistics in the US 2016In 2016, a total of 37,461 people were killed in motor vehicle accidents in the U.S., according to the latest statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. That's an increase of 5.6 percent compared to the year 2015.

Motor vehicle statistics in the US 2016In 2016, a total of 37,461 people were killed in motor vehicle accidents in the U.S., according to the latest statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. That's an increase of 5.6 percent compared to the year 2015.

You may ask, weren't more people driving more miles last year? Yes. The NHTSA says vehicle miles driven on U.S. roads rose 2.2 percent compared to 2015. But there was still an increase in death rate given the extra miles traveled: the fatality rate in 2016 rose to 1.18 deaths per 100 million vehicle-miles-traveled, which is an increase of 2.6 percent from 2015.

What Do the Statistics Mean?

Long story short, auto accident fatalities continue to rise in our country. There are a variety of reasons, all of which agencies like the NHTSA and others work to better understand. What we do know is that the majority of auto accidents – fatal and non-fatal – are preventable. They are usually caused by an error or misjudgment on the part of the motorists involved. To a lesser extent, accidents can be caused by defective vehicles, dangerous roads and hazardous conditions, which can be beyond our control.

Below, we take a closer look at the leading causes of deadly accidents in 2016.

Common Causes of Accident Deaths Last Year

The NHTSA identified the leading causes of fatal crashes, and whether these causes were on the rise or decline last year.

Distracted driving – decreased. Deaths linked to distraction fell by 2.2 percent last year. In total, 3,450 people lost their lives in traffic accidents that involved distracted driving, such as texting or talking on a phone.

Drowsy driving – decreased. Driving while you are tired is very dangerous. It not only affects your ability to stay awake, but also to react and make judgments quickly. It also slows coordination. Deaths linked to drowsy driving accidents fell by 3.5 percent, according to the NHTSA, adding up to a total of 803 people.

Speeding – increased. Speeding remains a persistent cause of death. Exceeding the speed limit makes it more difficult to control your vehicle. It increases the amount of time it takes to slow down, and leaves you less room for error if an unexpected situation arises on the road. Speeding also makes an impact/collision more catastrophic than if the same crash occurred at slower speeds. Unfortunately, the NHTSA found fatalities linked to speeding rose 4 percent last year, killing 10,111 people.

Drunk driving – increased. At this point, we all know the dangers of drunk driving. There's no excuse to get behind the wheel while inebriated. But it happens all the time. In fact, drunk driving caused the highest number of accident fatalities compared to all other causes in 2015: 10,497 people were killed, which is an increase of 1.7 percent from 2015.

Failure to wear seat belts – increased. Seat belts are an essential safety device. Research shows wearing a seat belt reduces the risk of death and catastrophic injury in the event of a crash. You should demand everyone in your vehicle buckles up before you begin driving. Doing so could save a life. In 2015, 10,428 people who were unbelted at the time of crash were killed, an increase of 4.6 percent.

Motorcyclist and Pedestrian Deaths

U.S. Pedestrian deaths 2016Fatalities among motorcyclists and pedestrians made up more than a third of the 2016 increase:

  • 5,286 motorcyclists were killed in 2016, which was an increase of 5.1 percent and the greatest number of such deaths since 2008
  • 5,987 pedestrians were killed last year, the highest number since 1990 and an increase of 9 percent from 2015
  • 840 bicyclists were killed, the highest number since 1991 and an increase of 1.3 percent from 2015

Motorcyclists, bicyclists and pedestrians are highly vulnerable when a crash occurs involving a motor vehicle. These types of transportation offer no protection. The larger size and weight of a vehicle can easily cause catastrophic injuries and death.

Your Consultation with Attorney Chris Jeffress

If you or a loved one has been injured in a motor vehicle accident in Boulder, Longmont, Broomfield or any of the surrounding areas, please call Jeffress Law, PC, at 303-993-8685. We offer a FREE case evaluation. We'll let you know about what steps you can take now to pursue maximum compensation for your injuries.

Forecast Calls for Snow Along I-70 Mountain Corridor

Winter driving accidents in ColoradoAlthough there's no chance of snow in the current forecast for the Boulder area, the extended forecast shows a good chance for snowstorms in the mountains. Although it may not feel like winter in the Front Range, it's important to brush up on winter driving skills so you're prepared for rough driving conditions if you go ski or travel into the I-70 mountain corridor.

Winter driving accidents in ColoradoAlthough there's no chance of snow in the current forecast for the Boulder area, the extended forecast shows a good chance for snowstorms in the mountains. Although it may not feel like winter in the Front Range, it's important to brush up on winter driving skills so you're prepared for rough driving conditions if you go ski or travel into the I-70 mountain corridor. For how dry it is in the Boulder area, it can be shocking for drivers who encounter winter conditions just a couple hours west of here. Slowing down and preparing yourself ahead of time can help you prevent a car crash.

Please review driving tips from AAA:

  • Before driving, check the air pressure in your tires. Properly inflated tires perform better than under-inflated or over-inflated tires.
  • Don't use cruise control on icy, slick or wet roads. Winter conditions require you to be constantly adapting to the road, so cruise control might not be the best option.
  • Check the forecast. CDOT does a good job of alerting drivers to incoming storms. They will let motorists know if there is an impending storm that can be avoided by leaving earlier or later.
  • Reduce your speed in the snow. Maneuvering on snowy roads requires more time than maneuvering on dry roads. Stopping, turning, accelerating – your vehicle won't respond as quickly in snowy conditions. Slow down to prevent rear-end accidents, losing control of your vehicle and other problems.

These are only a few tips. Please see AAA's full list.

If you or a loved one is involved in an accident caused by someone else's negligence this winter, you may be able to pursue compensation above and beyond initial insurance company offers. For a free evaluation of your claim, please call the law firm of experienced Boulder auto accident attorney Chris Jeffress at 303-993-8685.

Do You Need a Lawyer After a Crash in Boulder, Colorado?

If you were recently involved in a car accident, you may be wondering if you need an attorney. As an experienced Boulder car accident attorney, Christopher Jeffress can help you decide what to do next. Your initial case evaluation is free and without obligation. Please call us at 303-993-8685 for your evaluation. Mr. Jeffress has been representing injured victims for decades.

If you were recently involved in a car accident, you may be wondering if you need an attorney. As an experienced Boulder car accident attorney, Christopher Jeffress can help you decide what to do next. Your initial case evaluation is free and without obligation. Please call us at 303-993-8685 for your evaluation. Mr. Jeffress has been representing injured victims for decades. He is passionate about fighting on behalf of his clients, who come to our law firm from across the surrounding areas, including Longmont and Broomfield.

Do I need an accident attorney after a crash in Boulder?

Why Choose Our Boulder Attorney?

Boulder accident lawyerAs an injured accident victim, you want to choose the best attorney in Boulder to represent you. We completely understand that sentiment. Having a trusted individual at your side, fighting for what is in your best interest, can be an invaluable asset during a time like this.

Boulder accident lawyerAs an injured accident victim, you want to choose the best attorney in Boulder to represent you. We completely understand that sentiment. Having a trusted individual at your side, fighting for what is in your best interest, can be an invaluable asset during a time like this.

So who do you choose? We encourage you to give attorney Chris Jeffress a call. Learn more about us and decide what you would like to do next. Here are just a few of the reasons you should consider hiring Mr. Jeffress after a car accident:

Experience That Counts

Many lawyers have experience with accident cases, but what specifically have they been doing during those years? Mr. Jeffress has more than two decades of experience, but a key difference is that he has worked on the other side of the table, representing the insurance companies themselves. As such, he knows how these insurance companies work to deny, delay and reduce claims. His familiarity of insurance company tactics often aids him in navigating and ultimately resolving accident claims.

Mr. Jeffress started his law career in Chicago in 1991. Over the next few years, he realized he empathized with the personal injury victim, not the insurance company. He wanted to fight for injury victims and since 1994 he has dedicated his career to doing just that. Mr. Jeffress focuses solely on personal injury claims, dedicating 100 percent of his focus and skill to this practice area.

Level of Service

Boulder traffic accident statisticsThe law firm of Christopher Jeffress prides itself on providing individualized service that we would provide our own friends and family members. Mr. Jeffress is the sole attorney at our law firm, so your claims will always be in the hands of an experienced lead attorney, not a paralegal or junior attorney. Because Mr. Jeffress has complete control over the firm's case load, he ensures each client gets the attention and customer service they deserve.

Mr. Jeffress never takes a cookie-cutter approach to the claims he handles. Instead, he tailors the strategy to the individual case. In this way, he can fight skillfully and aggressively for the best possible outcome for you and your family.

Knowledge of Colorado Laws and the Community

As a Colorado resident, Mr. Jeffress is passionate about working, living and serving in his community. He has volunteer-coached several local youth sports teams, and contributes to Mothers Against Drunk Driving. In fact, he has also represented many victims of drunk driving crashes, fighting to hold the drunk driver accountable and to obtain compensation for the victims.

When you are injured in an accident in the Boulder area, you need an attorney who knows the relevant traffic laws. Mr. Jeffress knows these laws backwards and forwards. He'll investigate your accident with the help of traffic experts and his network of resources. If someone else's negligence was the cause of your crash and subsequent injuries, Mr. Jeffress will demonstrate to judges, juries and other parties exactly how that negligence led to the accident. He will discuss with you how the injury has impacted your life – financially, physically, emotionally and otherwise – so he can adeptly pursue maximum compensation on your behalf.

Get a Review, For Free

Have you been injured in an accident caused by someone else's negligence? Has a loved one been injured or killed in a crash in the Boulder area? Attorney Chris Jeffress can help. Call us now for a free claim review, at 303-993-8685. The office of Jeffress Law, P.C., is located in Boulder, Colorado, and serves people from across the surrounding region, including the areas of Longmont and Broomfield.

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