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Colorado State Patrol Asks You to Pack Some Patience

Word is that some 65 million Americans — a record number — are going to hit the roads and the skies this Thanksgiving week — celebrating in a way we haven’t been able to do in years because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

A road trip of any length in cold weather requires properly-inflated tires, a car emergency kit, a bag in the trunk with a blanket, jackets, hats, and gloves in case of car trouble, and at least a small supply of water. Access to a road map is a good idea, especially if the weather detours your adventure. Packing patience is something else.

First responders have been hit by other cars driving too recklessly for dangerous winter driving conditions. Photo: Colorado State Patrol.

Whether traveling hundreds of miles or just a few minutes, Coloradoans hitting the roads this week should anticipate increasing congestion as the week progresses. Colorado State Troopers are asking motorists to plan for longer travel times whether due to heavier traffic or potential weather impacts.

“With the excitement or stress of the holiday, sometimes we forget that the extended Thanksgiving weekend is one of the busiest times of the year on our roadways,” said Chief of the Colorado State Patrol Col. Matthew C. Packard. “As you set your departure day, pick a time that allows you to begin well-rested and check the weather forecast here and along your route.”

The Colorado State Patrol also asks that motorists have patience with other drivers who may be visiting and unfamiliar with the area. Looking at crash investigation data from the last three years (2019 – 2021), Troopers discovered 88 instances where drivers’ that were unfamiliar with the area committed lane violations that caused a serious injury or fatal crash.

“Give people space on the roads and a little grace,” adds Packard. “Remember what it is like driving through a new neighborhood or town for the first time. It can be intimidating and a bit confusing. Let’s make sure we do our part to have patience and be safe on the roads so that no one is missing from the holiday table.”

In addition, to showing courtesy to fellow drivers the Colorado State Patrol is sharing the two dominant behaviors impacting the safety of our Colorado roadways thus far in 2022. At the midpoint of this year (June 30, 2022), fatal crashes investigated by Colorado State Troopers had two primary causes (tied for #1):

  • Driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  • Lane violations

Troopers continue to take a low-tolerance approach to lane violations while launching a yearlong campaign called “Stay in Your Lane.” This campaign is designed to remind people to control their lane position based on their current driving environment. This campaign also aims to bring attention to three of the most common and avoidable behaviors that contribute to lane violations – driving aggressively, driving distracted, or driving while impaired.