(COLO) – Speeding continues to be a primary or contributing factor to a significant number of roadway fatalities across the state of Colorado. In 2021, Colorado State Troopers found excessive speed as the second most common factor for serious injury and fatal crashes right behind distracted driving.
“Speed is the ignored safety problem impacting the safety of our communities,” stated Col. Matthew C. Packard, chief of the Colorado State Patrol. “Driving above the limit or too fast for road conditions has become addictive to many drivers. Troopers intervene when they find it, but are you willing to say something to a loved one when you observe it?”
Unsafe speeds can lead to a number of additional driving errors including the inability to maintain a safe lane position and it reduces the amount of time both the speeding driver and those around them have to brake or move out of the way to avoid a collision. Speeding is a common type of aggressive driving, and it can happen on a rural two-lane road or a busy four-lane highway. Looking at 2021, fatal crash data, the Colorado State Patrol pinpointed the top roadways where they investigated crashes caused by excessive speed that resulted in 2 or more fatalities. It was a four-way tie with each roadway having four separate fatal crashes with more than two fatalities:
1. Highway 50
2. Highway 285
5. Highway 24
Refresher on Lane Positioning
A driver’s primary or “default” position for normal circumstances is to drive so that your vehicle (not the driver) is in the center of the lane with equal amounts of space on both sides of the vehicle.
The second lane position is to have the vehicle aligned to the left, ensuring that the vehicle is still safely off the center dividing line. This should be used with caution if you are avoiding a hazard on the right part of the lane (i.e. driving through a city block where parked car doors may open) or if you are slowing down due to a road worker or emergency responder on the shoulder. As soon as possible, you should return to your primary, centered lane position.
The third lane position is to have the vehicle aligned to the right, ensuring that the vehicle is still safely off the right lane line. This would be used when avoiding a hazard in the left part of the lane. As soon as possible, you should return to your primary, centered lane position.
Troopers continue to take a low-tolerance approach to lane violations while launching a yearlong campaign called “Stay in Your Lane.” This campaign is designed to remind people to control their lane position based on their current driving environment. This campaign also aims to bring attention to three of the most common and avoidable behaviors that contribute to lane violations – driving aggressively, driving distracted or driving while impaired.
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.