Speed is the Biggest Factor in Winter Crashes

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(COLO) –Winter weather can quickly change road conditions, but not all drivers modify their driving behavior. In fact, Colorado State Troopers are sending a warning that speeding during Colorado’s winter weather season, on average, puts you at 2.5x greater risk of experiencing a serious injury or fatal crash than at other times of the year.

“Our statewide data shows that during milder weather months, injury and fatal crashes peak, likely from an increase in the number of people out on our roadways, along with motorcycle season,” stated Col. Matthew C. Packard, chief of the Colorado State Patrol. “Troopers find that impairment, lane violations, driver distractions and speed all play a significant role in these serious crashes.”

However, when looking only at speed-caused injury and fatal crashes investigated by troopers during this same time frame (2021-2023), the data revealed that speed-caused crashes peaked from November to March, most likely related to driving too fast for the conditions. Winter driving conditions exacerbate speed as a causal factor in crashes.

“Confidence in the snow doesn’t mean driving recklessly. If you are truly an experienced winter driver, you know to adjust your speed to the conditions at hand,” stated Chief Packard. “Lower your speed, let people around you go the pace they choose to remain in control of their vehicle and give everyone some extra space.”

Troopers continue to take a low-tolerance approach to the top fatal crash factors, including lane violations, impaired driving and speeding, while launching a yearlong campaign called “Drive Safe.” This campaign celebrates positive driving behaviors and encourages all of us to drive like a trooper is riding with you.


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.