Lakewood Road Safety Overview

Lakewood Road Safety Overview

For its share of Colorado’s population, Lakewood has fewer total traffic crashes and fatal collisions than it should have. The city’s 156,000 residents account for about 3.1% of the state’s population. But only 2.7% of the state’s traffic collisions and 2.4% of its fatal accidents happen in Lakewood, according to the Colorado Crash Data Dashboard.

These numbers show that you have lower odds of getting into a car crash, particularly a fatal one, in Lakewood compared to other areas of the state. The city’s reputation goes beyond Colorado’s borders. According to the most recent America’s Best Drivers Report from Allstate Insurance, Lakewood was the 39th safest city out of the 200 most populated cities in the nation.

Lakewood Road Safety Statistics

A query on the Colorado Crash Data Dashboard returns 2,936 total car accidents in Lakewood in 2022, including: 

The remaining 2,215 involved collisions between two or more motor vehicles, including:

Despite the RTD’s W light rail train line running into Lakewood, the city had no collisions between vehicles and light rail trains in 2022. One driver collided with a heavy rail train, such as a freight or Amtrak train.

Car Accident Outcomes In Lakewood

The city’s multi-vehicle collisions in 2022 included:

  • 13 fatal crashes
  • 538 non-fatal injury crashes
  • 1,660 property damage–only crashes

These multi-vehicle crashes caused:

  • 13 fatalities
  • 74 serious injuries that incapacitated the accident victim
  • 275 minor injuries that produced visible, non-incapacitating wounds
  • 522 possible injuries that caused pain but produced no visible wound

In 2022, 5,542 motorists walked away from their collisions unharmed. You can calculate that nearly 13.8% of drivers and passengers involved in car accidents in Lakewood in 2022 suffered injury or death.

Vulnerable Road Users in Lakewood

The 94 collisions involving bicycles or pedestrians affected 106 vulnerable road users, including:

  • 58 pedestrians
  • 38 cyclists on human-powered bicycles
  • Two cyclists on e-bikes
  • Seven riders of scooters and other personal conveyances
  • One wheelchair occupant

These crashes caused:

  • Four fatal injuries
  • 16 serious injuries
  • 42 minor injuries
  • 31 possible injuries

Only 13 of these vulnerable road users suffered no injury in their collisions. These numbers mean that over 87.7% of non-motorized road users involved in collisions in Lakewood suffered injury or death.

Dangerous Times to Drive in Lakewood

Lakewood’s crash numbers follow an expected pattern. The number of crashes peaks on weekdays during the morning and afternoon commutes. The peak times for crashes happen between 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. on Tuesday through Friday. Monday has somewhat muted crash numbers for a weekday.

Weekend days have lower crash numbers than weekdays. Saturday and Sunday still have a small peak in the late afternoon between 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. As you might expect, these days also have higher evening crash numbers than weekdays.

Causes of Car Crashes in Lakewood

According to the Colorado Crash Data Dashboard, the most common type of crash in Lakewood involves a rear-end collision. Nearly 44% of crashes in Lakewood happen when one vehicle slams into the back end of the vehicle in front of it.

Rear-end crashes in Lakewood typically result from:

  • Distracted driving, listed as a contributing factor in 430 crashes
  • Tailgating, named as a factor in 171 crashes
  • Speeding, which contributed to 143 collisions

The second most common type of collision involves a side impact, also called a broadside or T-bone collision. Roughly 33.6% of Lakewood crashes happened when one vehicle struck the side of another vehicle moving perpendicular to it.

Side-impact crashes happen at intersections, alleys, and driveways. 

The most common causes of side-impact collisions include:

  • Failing to yield the right of way
  • Disobeying traffic lights and stop signs
  • Proceeding without properly surveilling the road
  • Making an unsafe turn

Finally, Lakewood has severe issues with intoxicated driving crashes. In 2022, the Colorado Crash Data Dashboard reported 559 crashes where police knew of or suspected intoxicated driving, including: 

  • 210 drivers charged with DUI
  • 244 drivers suspected of alcohol impairment
  • 47 drivers suspected of cannabis impairment
  • 58 drivers suspected of impairment due to prescription or illegal drugs

The number of crashes associated with cannabis use has skyrocketed in the past three years. During the three years between 2020 and 2022, Lakewood had 159 crashes in which police suspected cannabis use. Many drivers mistakenly assume that the legalization of marijuana products also made stoned driving safe, legal, or both.

Car Crash Hotspots

The Denver Regional Council of Governments (DRCOG) has identified a high-injury network of roads for planning infrastructure improvements. This high-injury network includes several roads in Lakewood that have high densities of traffic collisions.

Crash hotspots in Lakewood include:

  • US-6/6th Ave. Freeway
  • US-40/I-70 BUS/Colfax Ave.
  • Alameda Ave.
  • Sheridan Blvd.
  • Wadsworth Blvd.
  • Mississippi Ave.
  • Florida Ave.
  • Jewell Ave.

Not coincidentally, these roads also have heavy traffic. Road congestion combined with impatient and careless driving often leads to crashes on these routes.

The Future of Lakewood Road Safety

Lakewood has plans to improve roads and build pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure to enhance road safety. 

Some plans include road improvements to relieve traffic congestion on:

  • McIntyre St.
  • Red Rocks Business Dr.
  • Indiana St.
  • Routt St.

The city also plans to build additional pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure on:

  • Alameda Ave./Alameda Pkwy.
  • Kipling St.
  • Garrison St.
  • Wadsworth Blvd.
  • 1st Ave.
  • Colfax Ave.
  • Union Blvd.
  • Morrison Rd.

These improvements include sidewalks, multi-use trails, and bicycle lanes. The city has also studied whether its major routes have adequate crossings for pedestrians and cyclists.

Navigating Lakewood’s Roads Safely

Lakewood has relatively safe roads. But you can reduce your risk of car crash injuries even further by slowing down and following at a safe distance. You can also exercise extra caution when going through busy intersections. Finally, you should wear your seat belt in case a crash happens. These few tips will help you navigate the roads and highways of Lakewood safely.