After analyzing more than 2,000 insurance quotes, QuoteWizard determined that Colorado drivers are the third worst in the nation, just behind Wyoming and Virginia. Reckless driving, dangerous roads, and poor weather conditions all contribute to Colorado having some of the worst drivers. Understanding what makes driving in the state so dangerous is vital to keeping yourself safe.
If you were in a car accident because of another person’s negligence, contact the Mintz Law Firm. Our Colorado auto accident attorneys will conduct a thorough investigation into your case and advise you on the best next steps.
What Makes Driving on Colorado Roads Dangerous?
While poor drivers make up a good portion of why Colorado roads are so dangerous, they are not the sole reason. Several factors make roadways hazardous for drivers. Here are just a few reasons why driving on Colorado roads is dangerous:
- Excessive speeding: Some road sections in Colorado have a high-speed limit of 75 mph. For some, this could be the fastest road they have ever driven on, considering most states have a high-speed limit of 70 mph. However, many residents take this as a guide and travel well over the limit. Excessive speeding increases the amount of time drivers need to come to a safe stop. Braking at high speeds may cause the driver to lose control over their vehicle and cause a crash.
- Dangerous roads: Compared to other states, Colorado has hazardous roads. Many roadways wind up and down mountains, often with no guardrails. While it is rare for a car to drive off the side of a mountain, many drivers are more concerned about that happening than paying attention to the road. This may result in a head-on collision.
- Tourists: Thousands of people visit Colorado every year for outdoor recreation, but they are not familiar with our roads, highways, and interstates. Tourists may cut off other drivers to take an exit, causing a side-impact collision.
- Weather: Colorado weather is intense. State residents know to expect torrential downpours, intense winds, and a lot of snow. However, not all drivers can handle the various weather conditions we see and may become nervous. A nervous driver and bad weather do not go well together, and the odds of a crash happening increase.
Additionally, Colorado’s population has been increasing in recent years, and existing infrastructure is just not enough to keep up with the growing population. With crowding roadways, drivers may become aggressive or bored––two types of driving that are extremely dangerous.
How to Stay Safe on Colorado Roads
While it may be more dangerous than other states, there are still things you can do to protect yourself on Colorado roads. A good rule of thumb is always to plan for congestion. Leave with ample time and utilize technology to direct you to the least crowded route. When driving, leave enough space between you and the car in front just in case of an accident. The National Safety Council recommends a minimum of three seconds of following distance.
Be Alert of Weather Conditions
Being aware of the weather can also help keep you safe. A sunny day can quickly turn into rain clouds producing golf ball-sized hail. Always make sure your tires have good traction. Heat can weaken rubber, making your tires more susceptible to cracks. Additionally, you will want to ensure that your windshield wipers work. Rain and snow can appear suddenly, and it is illegal and unsafe to operate a vehicle without working wipers.
Avoid Distracted Driving
Never drive while distracted or engage in reckless driving. Both forms of driving can cause serious accidents. Many people incorrectly think that the only form of distracted driving is using their cell phone behind the wheel. However, eating, interacting with passengers, daydreaming, or adjusting the radio are all forms of distraction. Distracted drivers also tend to drive recklessly, such as going over the speed limit, swerving between lanes, and braking suddenly.
If you encounter a vehicle that you suspect is driving distracted or reckless, do your best to avoid it. Safely change lanes or pull off and wait for the driver to pass. If you can, write down their license plate number and report the driver to local law enforcement.
Experienced Car Accident Attorneys in Colorado
If you were recently in a car crash in Colorado, contact the auto accident attorneys at the Mintz Law Firm. Our attorneys are dedicated to fighting for the victims of automobile accidents and are passionate about obtaining justice for all our clients. With over 150 years of combined experience, we know how to achieve the best results for our clients. To schedule a free consultation, call (303) 462-2999 or complete our online contact form.