Focal point: Preventing crashes on mountain highways
Denver — As part of “The Mountain Rules” truck driver education series, the Colorado Department of Transportation is releasing three new videos aimed at educating and preparing truck drivers — especially those from out of state — for the unique challenges they face on Colorado’s mountain highways.
The videos are specifically focused on safe winter driving, navigating construction work zones, and handling hot brakes.
“We know that our state’s terrain and unpredictable weather conditions create immense challenges for semitruck drivers,” said CDOT Executive Director Shoshana Lew. “We’ve created this series as a way to equip truck drivers with the necessary knowledge and awareness to safely and confidently navigate our highways, especially in the high country.”
“The Mountain Rules” series was developed by CDOT, in partnership with the Colorado State Patrol and the Colorado Motor Carriers Association in 2019. All videos in the series emphasize the importance of being prepared for the specific obstacles truck drivers face when traveling through the state.
While local truckers may be familiar with Colorado’s highways, those from out of state often are new to the intricacies of navigating winter driving conditions along steep mountain corridors, understanding chain and traction laws, managing hot brakes, and adhering to Colorado's Move Over law. Each topic has its own dedicated, 10-minute video as part of the overall series to help prepare drivers.
"Traveling along the I-70 corridor includes sharp curves, seven and eight percent grades, not to mention congested peak travel times accompanied by quickly changing weather conditions," stated Col. Matthew C. Packard, chief of the Colorado State Patrol. "Colorado relies on your presence and services, and this video series will help prepare you for the common conditions on I-70. Safety should never take a back seat - prepare yourself before the trip."
CDOT and its partners encourage all truck drivers to educate themselves and view the videos, which can be found on CDOT’s YouTube channel and at freight.COtrip.org. The Mountain Rules videos also are distributed to truck driving schools, trucking companies, and other trucking-related entities.
“The steep downgrades, winding roadways, and fast changing weather conditions, make for a challenging drive, for even the most experienced truck driver,” said the CMCA President Greg Fulton. “The Mountain Rules program and videos provide a great educational tool for truck drivers, especially those unfamiliar with Colorado's mountains. It helps them to understand how to navigate our mountainous roadways in a safe manner. We believe this tool and other strategies by our state and local partners will make mountainous corridors like I-70 safer and reduce delays and closures.”
ABOUT “THE MOUNTAIN RULES”
A partnership between the Colorado Department of Transportation, Colorado State Patrol and the Colorado Motor Carrier’s Association, “The Mountain Rules” is a comprehensive, strategic and safety-focused effort to inform and educate in-state and inter-state trucking companies and drivers on the challenges of driving in Colorado’s mountains. It includes information on potential hazards, and a consistent reminder to go slow, steady, and safe for the long haul. For more information, please see: https://freight.colorado.gov/safety/mountain-rules