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Driving on I-70? These two areas are hot spots for speed-related crashes

The two areas of concern by the CSP highlight the potential dangers for motorists traveling on steep grades through mountain passes.
Posted: 11:31 AM, Feb 20, 2024
Updated: 2024-02-20 14:04:06-05
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DENVER — Two areas of Colorado’s I-70 mountain corridor were hot spots for speed-related crashes, according to data from the Colorado State Patrol (CSP).

The agency on Tuesday said between 2021 and 2023, 52 percent of crashes along Vail Pass were speed related as were 35.1 percent of crashes near the Eisenhower Tunnel.

The two areas of concern by the CSP highlight the potential dangers for motorists traveling on steep grades through mountain passes.

“These crashes included all vehicle types, where the driver was unable to drive safely and successfully navigate at their rate of speed,” said Col. Matthew C. Packard, Colorado State Patrol Chief. “Treat the extreme slopes of the Rockies with respect in all kinds of weather and never underestimate the increase of risk when blizzards, heavy rains or low visibility occurs.”

The CSP recently warned speeding drivers in Colorado’s treacherous winter weather conditions face a 2.5 times greater risk of being involved in a serious injury or fatal crash than during the warmer months.

“Our statewide data shows that during milder weather months, injury and fatal crashes peak, likely from an increase in the number of people out on our roadways, along with motorcycle season,” said Packard. “Troopers find that impairment, lane violations, driver distractions and speed all play a significant role in these serious crashes.”

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CSP data between 2021 and 2023 found crashes where speed was a factor peaked between November and March.

“Most likely related to driving too fast for the conditions. Winter driving conditions exacerbate speed as a causal factor in crashes,” said the CSP in a release.

Looking at where motorists in Colorado were most likely to receive a speeding ticket, the CSP in January revealed the top 5 counties where troopers handed out citations in 2023.

  • El Paso
  • Jefferson
  • Weld
  • Mesa
  • Eagle

CSP said El Paso, Weld and Jefferson Counties have made appearances in the top list of speeding violations over the last four years.
CSP also recently shared the top 5 Colorado highways where troopers issued speeding citations for driving 20+ miles per hour over the speed limit.

  • I-70
  • I-25
  • Hwy 50
  • Hwy 24
  • Hwy 285

Colorado officials continue to cite speeding, distracted and impaired driving as the top factors in traffic deaths and crashes causing serious bodily injury.
Packard said during a January press conference that of all the factors, speeding continues to lead the way. “Speed results in the vast majority of our fatal and injury crashes,” said Packard.

Denver7's Jayson Luber looks at evolution of state roadways over last 70 yrs.

Denver7 took an in-depth look at overall Colorado traffic data from 2023, including the alarming increase in pedestrian fatalities in the state. What have you seen or experienced driving, biking or walking in the Denver metro or in Colorado? Share your story with us at this link.

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