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Why Stopped Vehicles Pose a Major Threat to Drivers in Colorado

by  on  Car Accidents & Motor Vehicle Collisions

As a seasoned Denver car accident lawyer who helps people across Colorado injured in car accidents, we know a lot about driver negligence. We see accidents every day that are caused by mistakes like speeding, aggressive driving, falling asleep behind the wheel, and driving while intoxicated or using a cell phone. But a new report highlights another danger for anyone on the road: stopped vehicles.

Nearly 600 people are killed and more than 14,000 are injured each year in accidents involving disabled or otherwise stopped cars, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Those crashes result in some $9 billion worth of damages in the form of medical costs, missed wages and loss of life that is difficult to quantify, the non-profit group says.

“These crashes illustrate the potential value of stopped-vehicle-ahead warnings, which are already provided by some navigation apps and could be integrated to work with advanced driver assistance features and more advanced driving automation,” David Zuby, executive vice president and chief research officer for IIHS, said in a statement announcing the research. “They’re also a reminder of why we put so much emphasis on good headlights as a vital crash avoidance technology.”

Zuby’s team looked at federal crash statistics and detailed police reports for a subset of crashes in Florida to determine how many accidents are caused because a stopped vehicle was not sufficiently visible to motorists. 

They said improvements like better hazard lights and new technology that allows vehicles to share information about their speed, location and direction can help avoid crashes. The group also concluded that better traffic accident management and “move over” laws that require drivers to change lanes to give police and emergency services vehicles more room to operate are also beneficial.

About 18 percent of the more than 6,000 pedestrians who die after being struck by a vehicle each year are killed in accidents that also involve a disabled vehicle, according to a separate IIHS study. The total number of pedestrians killed in accidents with cars and trucks is on the rise, IIHS says.

This study identifies a part of the road safety equation that doesn’t get much attention, despite the size of the problem,” Zuby said.

Speak with a Denver Car Accident Lawyer at Levine Law Today

If you or a loved one has been injured in a pedestrian or car accident a Denver car accident lawyer at Levine Law can help. Whether it is caused by a negligent driver, a disabled vehicle, or a number of other factors, we will identify those responsible and ensure they are made accountable.

Our lawyers are pleased to serve clients throughout Colorado, including in Denver, Colorado Springs, Ft. Collins and Loveland. Call us at 303-333-8000 or contact us online to speak with a Denver car accident lawyer.