Pay attention on the road

Feb 172002

As Fort Collins grows in size, so does the amount of time we spend stuck in traffic. However, there’s a far more dangerous driving obstacle that we must tackle regularly: Interstate 25.

The Denver Post reported Sunday alarming figures that relate the increasing danger of I-25. Twenty-three people died in car crashes on Colorado’s northernmost 70 miles of I-25 in 2001. Traffic deaths on that stretch of road have risen 230 percent from 2000. There have already been two deaths this year, including the tractor-trailer driver killed early Friday morning while checking his rig roadside.

Who ever thought that driving to school or work could be so incredibly dangerous?

Increased volume on I-25 is one of the main causes of the problem. The Colorado Department of Transportation reported a 9 percent increase in traffic from 1995 to 2000 on northern I-25. Also, traffic conditions have worsened over the last few months due to unpredictable winter weather and T-REX construction delays.

This is a problem that we shouldn’t have. We can already do much to prevent highway casualities.

The easiest way to increase your safety is to wear your seatbelt. According to the Colorado State Patrol, most people who died in car wrecks weren’t wearing seatbelts and were ejected from their vehicles. CSP also advises drivers to drive cautiously in bad weather, to drive defensively (look out for other vehicles) and avoid distractions like cell phones and loud music.

Allow yourself plenty of time to get where you need to be going. We know that traffic is worsening, so plan accordingly.

If you aren’t concerned about your own driving skills, be aware of others. The Denver Post reported that only half of those killed caused their wrecks.

This warning might sound like something from the mouth of your high school driver’s education instructor, but obviously many Colorado drivers didn’t get the message the first time.

Be careful, everyone.

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

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