Fort Collins and Colorado’s DOT Moving Towards Zero Deaths Initiative

car accident on the highway

Fort Collins was the first city in the state to join Colorado’s DOT Moving Towards Zero Deaths Initiative in 2016. Fort Collins joined this program to help promote better roadway safety within the city and reduce traffic fatalities, serious injuries, and crashes

What is the Zero Deaths Initiative in Fort Collins, CO? 

Fort Collins Zero Deaths Initiative is a program where Fort Collins, along with Colorado’s DOT, is committed to striving towards zero fatalities in traffic crashes. The first step Fort Collins took was to create a Vision Zero Action Plan to accomplish this vision. 

This action plan helps identify a number of contributing elements to traffic fatalities, locations where they occur, and strategies for what could be done to reduce fatal car accidents in Fort Collins, Colorado. 

Overall Crash Statistics

bicycle accident involving a car and bike

Since joining the initiative, there has been a downward trend in traffic accidents in Fort Collins. According to data reported by the City of Fort Collins Traffic Operations, in 2018, there were 3,803 traffic accidents. Of these, there were 262 fatal crashes, a 15% reduction compared to 2017. The breakdown of these accidents is as follows:

  • 20% were bicycle crashes.
  • 17% were rear-end collisions.
  • 15% were approach (left) turn crashes.
  • 14% were right-angle crashes.
  • 11% were fixed object crashes.
  • 8% were pedestrian crashes.
  • 15% were other types of crashes.  

Bicycle crashes were down 23%, approach turn crashes were down 25%, severe approach turn crashes were down 10%, and motorcycle crashes were down 16%. Furthermore, about 80% of all traffic accidents only resulted in property damage and no personal injuries. 

What are some of the intersections in Fort Collins with the most excessive crash costs? 

The following ten locations were identified as having the most excessive crash costs:

  • College Avenue and Horsetooth Road – $1,050,393
  • College Avenue and Trilby Road – $525,663
  • Mason Street and Harmony Road – $512,943
  • Lemay and Harmony Road – $465,537
  • Lemay and Drake Road – $459,568
  • Timberline Road and Carpenter – $437,511
  • Broadwalk Drive and Harmony Road – $417,952
  • Shields Street and Mulberry Street – $360,534
  • Shields Street and Prospect Road – $357,060
  • College Avenue and Drake Road – $325,976 

In addition, another fifteen locations were identified as having crash costs greater than $135,000 but less than $32

What are some ways Fort Collins is moving towards zero deaths?

Fort Collins is using engineering, education, encouragement, enforcement, and evaluation strategies to help move toward zero deaths. 

Engineering involves making improvements to high-traffic crash areas in the city. For example, the intersection of Snow Mesa and Harmony had a high number of left-turn accidents. By making a simple signal change to control left-hand turns, there was an 87% reduction in left-hand turns, with an overall decrease of 47% in crashes.

Another example is the intersection of College Avenue and Prospect, which was completely redone with added lanes, right-hand turn lanes, and a new signal system. After the project was completed, there was a 27% reduction in all crashes. 

Education and encouragement involve different programs the city uses to increase awareness and promote vehicle, bicycle, and pedestrian safety. Enforcement is having the police utilize various campaigns to encourage safer driving habits

Finally, evaluation is the ongoing process of reviewing data annually and making continued improvements to intersections and other locations identified as having excessive fatalities and crash costs.  

In addition, the city follows CDOT’s Strategic Transportation Safety Plan to assist in improving traffic safety and moving towards zero deaths. 

What organizations have also adopted the Zero Deaths Initiative? 

  • Arapahoe County
  • Aurora Police Department
  • Aware and Alive Driving
  • Bicycle Colorado
  • Bike Colorado Springs
  • Brandon and Paul Foundation
  • Children’s Hospital Colorado
  • City of Longmont
  • Colorado Department of Human Services
  • Colorado District Attorneys Council
  • Colorado Driving Institute
  • CORE Prevention Strategies
  • Drive Smart Colorado Springs
  • Drive Smart Pueblo
  • Drive Smart Weld County
  • Excel Driver Services Henderson, CO
  • Huerfano-Las Animas Counties Early Childhood Council
  • Office of Behavioral Health
  • Pro31 Safe Senior Driver, LLC
  • San Luis Valley RETAC
  • Sawaya Law Firm
  • Servicios de La Raza
  • Swedish Medical Center
  • Tri-County Health Department
  • Western Regional Occupant Safety Coalition

What should I do if I am injured in a car accident in Fort Collins?

car accident attorney filling out paper work with a gavel next to him

The most important thing to do is seek medical treatment for your injuries. After getting the medical attention you need, your next step should be to schedule a free consultation with a Fort Collins car accident attorney at Bachus & Schanker. If you were not at fault, you could be entitled to monetary compensation from the responsible party and their insurance company.


CDOT Launches Moving Towards Zero Deaths. (2022).

Roadway Safety in the City. (2019).

2020-2023 Colorado Strategic Transportation Safety Plan. (2020).

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