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Colorado Department of Transportation: “The biggest thing we can’t mitigate…is driver behavior”

Colo. (KRDO) -- A late-night snowstorm impacted roads Monday morning disproportionately in southern Colorado, with roads in Pueblo hit the hardest.

Pueblo School District 60 and Pueblo County School District 70 both announced their schools were closed Monday.

“In addition to heavier than expected accumulation we are seeing some ice spots underneath the snow, as well as some fog that is settling in now, so visibility is a bit of an issue,” said Michelle Peulen, Communication Manager for the Colorado Department of Transporation.

In northern Colorado Springs and Monument, roads have been clear since around 5 a.m.

The Colorado Department of Transportation said it had 20 snowplows out mitigating El Paso County roadways since midnight, but there are some dangers they cannot troubleshoot.

“The biggest thing we can’t mitigate isn’t nature, it’s driver behavior, " said Peulen. "In winter conditions, we need to drive slower. A lot of drivers don’t abide by that rule.”

The Colorado State Department of Transportation confirms that the biggest cause of accidents on snow days isn't black ice or heavy snowpack, but drivers themselves.

Officials said snow crews are preparing for more snow accumulation overnight into Tuesday.

"We really encourage our drivers to get plenty of rest, said Peulen "They truly are in their vehicles for 12 hours when we have these drawn-out storms.”

Check road conditions and see which roads have been plowed here.

Colorado Springs / Local News / Pueblo / Weather / Weather

Mia Villanueva

Mia is a weekday reporter for Good Morning Colorado. Learn more about Mia here.

Comments

11 Comments

  1. “The biggest thing we can’t mitigate isn’t nature, it’s driver behavior”
    .
    That’s a fact . . .

  2. Yes, there are bad drivers but maybe the bigger problem is the roads are just not safe during bad winter storms.

    CDOT can only do so much to treat snow/ice covered roads and it is not enough to make roads safe enough for the public to safely drive on.

    If the state is really so concerned about the safety and welfare of the public then close all business’s but those essential ones just like they close schools. Require people be given snow day pay, paid by the state and federal government.
    ,,,
    Stop placing the blame for ALL weather related accidents on drivers when the real culprit are poorly cleared and treated treated roads in winter storm conditions.

    1. You said yourself that “CDOT can only do so much to treat snow/ice covered roads and it is not enough to make roads safe enough for the public to safely drive on.” So the remaining factors are the poor decisions made by drivers, who continue to drive as though the roads were normal. Safe driving is possible in almost all conditions if you know what you’re doing. Driving on ice and snow as if it was dry in the summer inevitably causes crashes.

      1. No, the roads are too unsafe even for safe drivers who do get in accidents in snow and ice, the roads are also unsafe for anyone who can get hit by all your alleged unsafe drivers, including pedestrians.

        There are Lack of funds for more plows to handle all the roads and they use chemicals that work poorly and not at low temperatures. Often when the snow is coming down heavy shortly after roads are cleared they are covered again making them unsafe.

        The state needs to be held to face reality and be sensible to save lives, decrease injuries and decrease property damage. They put financial concerns of business’s and money in general ahead of our safety.

        Close the roads but for essential workers, its the right thing to do.

        1. I agree with your last statement, and that has happened very occasionally in the past. But there were still some idiots who ignored the warnings and went out anyway.
          .
          You could also argue that roads are unsafe at any time “even for safe drivers who do get in accidents in snow and ice, the roads are also unsafe for anyone who can get hit by all your alleged unsafe drivers, including pedestrians.” There will always be bad drivers, many of them repeat offenders who don’t care if you stop them driving by taking away their licenses.
          .
          There are reasonable limits to what the expectations of CDOT should be, and I believe your expectations are far too high. There comes a point where common sense has to take over. Unfortunately, that’s lacking in too many people today, which brings us back to the habitually bad drivers.

          1. I disagree.

            You sound like the white flag waving surrendering type resigned to the belief that it is what it is and nothing can be done.

            The roads are not safe because the best efforts by CDOT cannot make them so on the occasions we have severe snow/ice conditions and but for essential workers they should close them.

          2. But as I said already, there are still idiots who will go out even if the roads are officially closed. What do you propose CDOT does about them?

  3. While I agree that driver behavior plays a factor. I can also say with certainty that the roads are not in any condition for winter weather. Poor treatment and potholes everywhere.

  4. I drive for Lyft and was driving from 5 am on today. During a period when it was snowing pretty good, it amazed me how many drivers on I-25 were driving without any regard for the safety of others or even their own safety. It is a common occurrence to see 4 to 6 cars at a time drive through a red arrow. Driving major roads in this town during rush hour should be declared an Olympic event. Yes, some roads need work but ultimately we each need to take responsibility for our actions behind the wheel.

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