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Worst areas for speed-related crashes on I-70 revealed

Top clusters were on steep grades on side of mountain passes, State Patrol figures show
Colorado State Patrol

Colorado is known for its beautiful landscapes and outdoor recreation, with I-70 serving as the gateway into the Rocky Mountains.

This interstate is one of the primary corridors that allows residents and visitors to travel through the Rocky Mountains efficiently to recreation, business, and residential destinations. I-70 is also considered one of the more challenging roadways for Commercial Motor Vehicle drivers and everyday motorists, especially in severe weather conditions.

“This unique interstate is both beautiful and precarious. I-70 is a major highway that carries commerce and serves people whether traveling to their favorite ski slope or simply commuting to work,” stated Col. Matthew C. Packard, chief of the Colorado State Patrol.

“Drivers should pay attention to their speed for various reasons on this roadway, including steep grades, narrow turns and sudden weather changes.”

Looking over a three-year period (2021-2023), Colorado State Patrol crash data revealed that two locations along the I-70 mountain corridor showed a significant concentration of crashes.

These two top clusters of speed-related crashes were on steep grades on either side of mountain passes.

  • 52% of all crashes associated with Vail Pass (MP 182-193) are speed related.
  • 35% of all crashes associated with the Eisenhower Tunnel (MP 207-216) were speed related.

“These crashes included all vehicle types, where the driver was unable to drive safely and successfully navigate at their rate of speed,” stated Chief Packard.

“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.”