(COLO) – If you hold a valid driver’s license, chances are pretty high that the driving instructor or manual you read to prepare you for driving covered the importance of being intentional about where you placed your vehicle in the lane as you were driving. Earlier today, the Colorado State Patrol reminded drivers that the primary lane position for your vehicle in normal circumstances is the center of the lane. This helps ensure that drivers are reducing their risk of costly and potentially deadly collisions.
“Last year your Colorado State troopers investigated over 600 injury and fatal crashes that were found to be caused by someone traveling outside of their designated lane,” stated Chief Matthew C. Packard, Colorado State Patrol.
As simple as it sounds to stay centered in a lane, the Colorado State Patrol issued over 14,600 people citations last year as the agency lowered its tolerance for this specific driving behavior. Through reviewing crash and citation data, the agency discovered that motorists who were cited for a lane violation by the Colorado State Patrol were also found to be engaging in other unsafe behaviors including driving aggressively, driving distracted or driving while impaired.
“Going back over data from the last three years, only one other human factor could compete with these three behaviors - driver inexperience,” explained Chief Packard. “This suggests that the vast majority of lane violations are for reasons that can be controlled and stopped. And, to be clear, the largest groups of people committing the offenses of distracted, impaired and aggressive driving aren’t our newest drivers.”
This is why Colorado State Troopers are continuing 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. With the help of a “concerned motorist” named Mike, it 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.
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.
For more information about the Stay in Your Lane campaign and lane position, please visit our "Stay in Your Lane" page. Follow this campaign and the Colorado State Patrol on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
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.