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CDOT Offers Colorado Drivers Many Winter Driving Resources

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1-70 snow storm

The 1-70 in a snow storm.

The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) is urging drivers to take advantage of many free resources that provide traffic, road condition, and highway information, as part of Winter Weather Awareness Week.

As a CDOT news release says, the resources include:

  • Cotrip.org, which provides online travel information information from Intelligent Transportations Systems, a branch of CDOT. It includes the latest road conditions, highway closures, live traffic speeds and a travel times map, photos, live cameras streaming traffic, trucking information, and more.
  • The phone number 511, which, when called from anywhere in the state, provides recorded information about road conditions, projected trip travel times, trucker information, and more. The call is free and the recordings are updated at least once an hour, but more often when conditions change.
  • Free email and text alerts, available at coloradodot.info. To get the alerts, just click on the green cell phone icon on the page’s upper right corner and choose from the various subscription options. You can change your alerts at any time. They include regional information, road condition updates, trucker chain law information, CDOT news, construction project information, and more. Note that standard text messaging rates do apply.
  • The CDOT Mobile App, which offers information about 1-70 conditions (with more highways to be added soon), travel times, road closures, nearby attractions, and more. The app is available for Droids and iPhones. To get the app, text “CDOT” to 25827 or download “CDOT Mobile” from your app store.
  • @coloradodot on Twitter, for traveler information and other CDOT news. CDOT writes: “You can also ask us a question, read what others have asked us, and give us feedback.” More than 16,000 motorists already follow CDOT on Twitter.
  • CDOT’s Facebook page, at facebook.com/coloradodot. CDOT’s Facebook page provides major updates on traveler information and other CDOT news, plus photos, safe winter driving tips, and other information. CDOT notes that it responds every day to posts and questions.
  • CDOT’s Winter Driving Website, coloradodot.info/travel/winterdriving, which provides information “about what to keep in your vehicle during the winter, how to safely pass a snow plow, commercial vehicle requirements, seasonal closures, snow removal, avalanche control, and more.

The CDOT press release makes it a point to say:

Remember this winter when there is ‘Ice and Snow, Take it Slow!’ […]

CDOT reminds motorists that distracted driving in any form is dangerous. Distracted driving includes using your smart phone, reading a map, and even eating or drinking while you are driving. If you plan to use any of the resources above, please do so before you get behind the wheel and start heading to your destination or safely pull off the road.

According to icyroadsafety.com, with 16 fatalities each, Colorado and Kansas together ranked seventh in the top 10 states for icy road fatalities for the 2009-2010 season, in a list in which Pennsylvania was first. The data was collected via daily monitoring and searching of online news feeds from media sources nationwide, including newspaper, TV stations, and news sites, icyroadsafety.com writes.

The site notes:

Consequently, this data reflects the minimum possible number of fatalities, as undoubtedly many fatal crashes go unreported in the news media.

Based on news media reports, there were at least 477 deaths due to icy roads in the United States during the 2008-2009 winter season, and at least 458 during the 2009-2010 winter season. The two-year average between these seasons is 467 fatalities per year.

Here is a video of a 20-car pileup during a 2010 Colorado Springs snow storm. [Warning: some strong language.]

Image by jakesmome (vicki watkins).

 

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