Troopers see aggressive driving behavior leading to lane violations, remind us of their “Stay in Your Lane” Campaign
Come on folks — it’s 2023. Time to turn over a new leaf and drive a little more safely for your own good, and the good of those with whom you share the road. Especially here in the mountains, with twists and turns and avalanches — the word is to ‘slow down and stay in your lane.’
Based on data from the Colorado State Patrol, from 2019 through August 2022, aggressive driving is the top reason drivers commit lane violations (that and new drivers with inexperience behind the wheel). Lane violations have proven to be particularly deadly and were deemed the top causal factor for injury and fatal crashes investigated by Colorado State Troopers in 2022.
“While many of us have been saying that driving in Colorado has gotten very unpleasant since the pandemic and fellow motorists seem more reckless than ever, we now see a consistent and disappointing trend with our data,” said the Chief of the Colorado State Patrol Col. Matthew C. Packard. “Driving etiquette seems to have gone out the window and it’s time for drivers to bring it back before their aggressive behaviors result in a citation or worse, a horrible crash.”
Colorado roadways see heavy volume every season throughout the year, but winter driving in Colorado can be treacherous. This only underscores the importance of sharing the road and following simple rules.
For those needing a bit of education, lane violations can be anything from switching lanes in an unsafe manner to driving too close to the center line and crossing over, or driving too close to the exterior lane line and crossing over.
Since it may have been two years or ten, twenty, or more years since you the reader got your driver’s license, the Colorado State Patrol is offering their top five driving etiquette rules for all of us to follow:
- Use the shoulder only for emergencies – never use the shoulder to weave through traffic, bypass a line to merge again into the lane, eat or go through paperwork, etc.
- Don’t tailgate – leave space between you and the car in front of you, it’s not only rude, it could also cause a crash if the drivers needs to stop quickly.
- Let others merge – courteous driving consists of allowing other motorists to merge into traffic or to get off a highway, by giving them some space to do that safely. Also practice alternating (zipper merging) in congested areas.
- Don’t drive if you are distracted – the only thing you should be focused on while driving is the road. Weaving across a lane line, inconsistent braking or speed, failing to respond to changing traffic lights due to distraction impacts other motorists around you.
- Don’t respond to aggressive drivers – while tempting to react to an aggressive motorist, take a deep breath and just don’t. Give yourself space from an angry or aggressive driver.
Readers should be aware that Colorado State Troopers continue to take a low-tolerance approach to lane violations and have launched 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 contributing to lane violations: driving aggressively, driving distracted, or driving while impaired.
The Colorado State Patrol (CSP) was created in 1935. From the beginning, it has focused on preserving human life and protecting property within our communities. In addition to our roads, the CSP is responsible for the Governor and other dignitaries’ protection, commercial motor vehicle enforcement, hazardous materials, homeland security, communications, investigative services, criminal interdiction, community education, and aviation operations.