In case you have any doubts, I-25 running through the Denver area is recognized as one of Colorado’s most dangerous interstates. Through the first three-quarters of 2017, I-25 has been on the nightly news for accidents ranging from rush hour fender-benders to semi-truck oil spills that have closed the highway for more than a day.
Now that the winter snow season has hit the area, road conditions and driving behavior are only likely to get worse.
Despite years of public awareness campaigns, drivers aren’t slowing down and continue to put themselves in danger by seemingly doing everything except paying attention when they’re behind the wheel. Add in the DUI accidents and the Denver metro understandably earns its reputation as one of the most unsafe stretches of freeways in the nation.
What makes I-25 so dangerous?
First, the sheer numbers of metro area residents who crowd onto I-25 heading to the northern and southern suburbs everyday tax law enforcement’s ability to police for speed, reckless driving, texting drivers and DUI. The number of cars using I-25 during a typical business day is estimated to exceed 125,000.
During periods of peak use, drivers become frustrated with each other. Slowing down and keeping more space between vehicles would seem to be a common-sense solution, but many drivers vent their frustration by speeding up and recklessly changing lanes to pass slower vehicles. During workday afternoon rush hours, commuters trying to get home are especially prone to acting impatiently.
I-25 is a major truck thoroughfare
But metro area commuters aren’t the only reason for the dangers on I-25. The interstate is a major north-south thoroughfare running through the mountain states. Most trucks cutting down through the nation’s midsection will choose to take one of the interstates and I-25 is the final option east of the Rocky Mountains. Thousands of semi trucks crowd the lanes every day, often increasing the stress levels of drivers who can’t cope with the speeds or conditions.
Learn how to be patient during winter weather
Speed isn’t necessarily the only factor to consider when driving in slippery winter weather. The space you leave between you and the vehicle in front (and behind) is a critical factor, no matter how fast traffic is moving.
According to driving safety experts, the best tip to take with you when you get behind the wheel is this: Understand that getting where you want to go along I-25 will take 10 – 15 minutes longer than it used to. In fact, it is a good idea to just plan to be late. That will beat never getting there at all every time.