Staying Safe Driving on Colorado Mountain Roads

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Tips

While your vehicle may be in mountain shape, there are some added things to focus on and be aware of as a driver.

Sign Language

Pay attention to posted warning signs, as these will advise of curves, steep hills, falling rocks, and animal crossings. Additionally, make sure you know what the speed limit is, do not tailgate, and err on the side of caution as you never know when someone will have to make a sudden stop.
Hazards – Make sure you’re scanning the road ahead for hazards like rocks, forest debris, or animals. Steep grades and poor lines of sight mean you’ll need to be hyper-vigilant and ready to react to whatever is around the bend, especially at night. If traveling down-hill, keep tabs on large vehicles like semi-trailers or buses behind you, and be prepared to move out of the way if they seem to be moving too fast or have lost their brakes.

Share the Road

Watch for bicyclists and be sure to give them the 3ft buffer zone required by law. If there is no shoulder, bicyclists may be riding in the lane, and it’s on you to make sure you see them.
Right of way – Vehicles traveling uphill have right of way due to the difficulty they’d have in moving forward after stopping. Downhill vehicles generally must either stop to provide sufficient room for passing or back up to a wider place.

Passing

If you’re driving slowly or notice a line of cars building up behind you, pull into a turnout or into the right lane, if available, to let fast-moving traffic pass. Only pass slow-moving traffic when you have a dedicated passing lane or have a dotted/broken median and a clear view of the road ahead.

Offline Maps

GPS and cell signal may disappear without warning when traveling through mountains and valleys. Make sure you know where you’re going by having a paper map, printed directions, or by downloading maps to use offline.

Related Article: How To Reduce Driving Distratctions



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