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CDOT: Teen drivers killed on Colorado roadways ties last year's number; traffic deaths up overall

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Posted at 11:25 AM, Sep 04, 2023

LAKEWOOD, Colo. — While Labor Day marks the unofficial end of summer, it also marks the end of what is dubbed the "100 Deadliest Days," a historically dangerous time for teen drivers.

"Unfortunately we have seen 100 Deadly Days live up to its name this year," said Sam Cole, traffic safety manager with the Colorado Department of Transportation.

In 2022, 55 teen drivers (15-19) lost their lives behind the wheel. So far this year, we are already at that number, with three months of the year left to go, according to CDOT.

CDOT said this summer wasn't just deadly for that inexperienced group behind the wheel. Traffic deaths in all age groups increased.

"Actually we had more traffic deaths overall in July than we've had in the previous five July's in Colorado," said Cole.

Public Information Officer Lindsey Lee with the Lakewood Police Department attributed that spike to three behaviors.

"Distracted driving, aggressive driving, and driving under the influence," said Lee.

But Lee told Denver7 there's one-factor officers spot the most while out on patrols.

"Distracted driving is probably the biggest cause of crashes and unsafe driving that we see here in Lakewood," she said.

While drivers enter a new season on the roads, CDOT shared this advice:

"Even though it's beautiful today, you know, a month from now we could have snow. Making sure that your tires have good tread depth on them and make sure those windshield wiper blades are new and are in good condition," said Cole.