(Colorado) – The winding scenic roads of southwest Colorado are both charming and hazardous. This is why Colorado State Patrol troopers are asking visitors and residents to respect the speed limit and familiarize themselves with common traits of two-lane roads in rural and mountain areas. Between Memorial Day and Labor Day of 2021, Colorado troopers covering the southwest region responded to 21 fatal crashes. Eleven of those crashes (52%) involved drivers crossing the center line of their lane or the exterior lane line.
According to the Bureau of Transportation statistics, while only 19% of the U.S. population lives in rural areas, 43% of all roadway fatalities occur on rural roads, and the fatality rate on rural roads is almost 2 times higher than on urban roads. When it comes to the most common factors that troopers have seen in their mountain towns, lane violations were the top causal factor for fatal crashes.
“Whether someone loses control from speeding through an area with tight curves or being distracted in an area with no shoulder, loose gravel and wildlife, two-lane roads leave no time for error,” explains Major Rob Marone, District 5 Commander with the Colorado State Patrol. “Make driving your singular focus.”
As part of a summer awareness campaign, Super Cruising in Colorado, the Colorado State Patrol has created a web resource to help prepare visitors for the scenic byways and mountains roadways throughout the area as well as common traits of two-lane roads. Two-lane roads have a single lane going in each direction without a median strip or center barrier.
“Hugging the center line is extremely dangerous on blind corners and steep turns,” stated Major Marone. “Drive slowly and stay centered in your lane.”
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.