(Colorado) – It’s that time of year for pumpkin patches and a drive through the Colorado Rockies to check out the changing of the season. While the colors may have passed their peak in the north, the southern part of Colorado’s western slope is the best place to see beautiful fall colors before winter weather rolls in to stay. Known for premier hiking, camping, hunting and mountain biking, the western slope of Colorado regularly sees a steady volume of in-state and out-of-state visitors throughout the autumn ‘shoulder season.’ And these recreationists, may not always be familiar with the southwest area’s roadways or with towing in mountain conditions.
Looking at 2022 crash data through the end of September for just the southwest region of the state, 46 fatal crashes have been investigated by Colorado State Troopers in that area with the vast majority stemming from two causes: impaired driving and lane violations (drivers traveling out of their designated lane whether by switching lanes in a dangerous manner or driving while crossing over the center or side lane lanes.).
“People know that there is never a time or place to safely drive intoxicated. It comes down to making one simple choice to never drive impaired,” stated Major Brett Williams, District Five Commander for the Colorado State Patrol. “Lane violations can also be prevented. Whether it is a distraction behind the wheel or simply not knowing the conditions of the road. One of the most important things a driver can do to ensure a good trip is to gain some awareness about what to expect on his or her route.”
As a resource to visitors in the area, the Colorado State Patrol has updated its Super Cruising web resource to help prepare visitors on scenic byways and mountainous roadways throughout the area.
In addition to videos of some popular leaf-peeping routes, visitors to the website can also find information on how to navigate various mountain conditions like steep turns and blind corners while also being linked to local weather information and how to properly load a trailer to avoid swaying.
“We love to have visitors, but remember to pull over at scenic overlooks or approved parking areas,” explained Major Williams. “We want you to enjoy your view without becoming a hazard behind the wheel or leaving an obstacle taking up a portion of a needed 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.