Friday, February 13, 2009

Tips for Driving I-70 from State Patrol

Nothing ruins a great weekend of skiing like driving I-70. Colorado State Patrol finds that the following areas are hot spots for accidents.

Notorious accident spots:
  • Five mile section (mile markers 216 to 221) in the eastbound lanes just east of the Eisenhower Tunnel. That stretch includes the on-ramp where ski traffic from Loveland Ski Area merges onto the interstate. This spot can often be icy. Combine that with ski traffic and accident potential is high.
  • Officer's Gulch between Copper Mountain and Frisco. Drivers come down off Vail Pass and they think they've finished their decent, but there's still downgrade in that area a lot of curves and some shading of the roadway.
  • Hidden Valley area east of Idaho Springs near the Twin Tunnels where sharp curves often cause trucks commonly to tip over.
  • Fall River at 237, especially eastbound there's a very sharp right hand curve drivers get caught by surprise at that sharp right hand curve, especially in snow and ice.

The State Patrol has analyzed their accident data base over a number of years and found that the #1 cause of accidents is impatient drivers driving too fast for road conditions. I-70 changes conditions can change rapidly throughout your drive. Weather may be inconsistent, shade and curves can catch drivers unexpectedly. But no matter how anxious you are to make it home play it safe.

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