GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KREX) — Lane violations and driving under the influence are the two collision variables that top the list of what is causing the dramatic trend of fatal crashes across the state, according to crash data gathered by the Colorado State Patrol on nationwide occurrences reviewed by troopers.
21.6% of the fatal collisions that the Colorado State Patrol examined between January and July 2022 involved drivers who were driving outside of their authorized lanes, and 18% involved drivers who were under the influence of alcohol, marijuana, or other drugs when they got behind the wheel.
“When you act rashly and irresponsibly behind the wheel, you are demonstrating your lack of concern for every grandparent, child, uncle and mother on the road with you,” stated Col. Matthew C. Packard, Chief of the Colorado State Patrol. “There is a reason we all went through hours of instruction and had to take a test to earn a license. It is a privilege and with it comes responsibility.”
The Colorado State Patrol has responded to over 375 injury and death collisions caused by lane infractions in the first half of 2022, despite how straightforward it may appear to stay in your lane. For most driving situations, a driver should position their car (not themselves) in the middle of the lane with an equal amount of space on either side. This is known as the main or “default” position.
In addition, from January through July 2022, troopers issued 2,936 tickets for driving while intoxicated.
“Law enforcement knows the telltale signs of impaired driving, like lane violations, and go out of their way to stop it because of the deadly consequences of this inexcusable choice to drive intoxicated,” explained Chief Packard. “As a result, being arrested for impaired driving imposes some of the harshest penalties and will have a significant impact on a person’s life.”
In all types of communities throughout the state of Colorado, drunk driving is a severe problem. According to data from the first half of 2022, the following top five counties saw the highest number of DUI/D driving arrests:
1. El Paso – 342
2. Adams – 252
3. Jefferson – 218
4. Weld – 211
5. Mesa – 177
The Colorado State Troopers have started a year-long campaign called “Stay in Your Lane” while maintaining a zero tolerance policy for lane breaches. This campaign is intended to serve as a reminder to drivers to adjust their lane position to the conditions of the road. Driving aggressively, driving while distracted, and driving while intoxicated are three of the most prevalent and preventable behaviors that contribute to lane infractions, and they are all targeted by the campaign.