(Colorado) – Residents and visitors alike should plan for increased traffic this coming holiday weekend on Colorado’s Western Slope. With more people comes increased hazards on highways and local roads, so pack your patience and put away your distractions.
“First, take it easy. No matter your destination, familiarizing yourself with the area, checking the weather conditions and packing away your distractions will help you arrive safely,” stated Major Brett Williams, District 5 Commander for the Colorado State Patrol. “Your focus needs to be on the road in front of you to spare the wildlife you enjoy seeing on the Western Slope as well as other motorists and pedestrians.”
Last year, Colorado State Troopers investigated 63 serious injury or fatal crashes on the Western Slope attributed to distracted driving between Memorial Day weekend and Labor Day weekend. The top human causes for distracted driving determined by Colorado State troopers were interior distractions (e.g., phones, dashboard navigation, food, etc.), followed by daydreaming and finally, driver inexperience.
Colorado State Patrol wants you to be familiar with the route and the possible hazards before you set out on your trip. Visit Super Cruising in Colorado to check out trooper dashcam footage from popular scenic byways and common routes. Also, learn about conditions specific to mountain driving.
Expanding the data to include all forms of crashes investigated by Colorado State troopers, including property damage crashes, the most common cause of crashes in 2022 on the Western Slope was caused by wildlife. Troopers investigated 404 crashes between Memorial Day weekend and Labor Day weekend.
“These tragic wildlife encounters didn’t always harm the animal, but each one did impact the motorists financially, emotionally and sometimes physically,” stated Major Williams. “The best chance to avoid these types of situations is to drive with focus, drive the speed limit and keep a safe distance when you see wildlife in the area.”
Enjoy all the beauty of the Colorado Rockies while also practicing safe driving habits on every trip.!
ABOUT THE COLORADO STATE PATROL
Since our origin in 1935, the Colorado State Patrol (CSP) has focused on preserving human life and protecting property within our communities. Our 1,100 members embody the core values of Honor, Duty, and Respect in their daily jobs. In addition to our expertise in motor vehicle safety on the state’s roadways, the CSP is responsible for the Governor and other dignitaries’ protection, commercial motor vehicle enforcement, hazardous materials, homeland security, communications, investigative services, criminal interdiction, community education, aviation operations, and more.