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distracted driving

Stay Safe From Distracted Driving During Mountain Drives

With a significant number of businesses and public areas still closed, more people than usual are heading into the mountains and the National Parks to get some fresh air. Whether you are driving up to Rocky Mountain National Park, or down to the Great Sand Dunes, stay alert for the usual dangers inherent to mountain driving as well as any distracted driving behaviors you may encounter.

Before any mountain drive, check all of your fluids, inflate your tires to manufacturer specifications, check your headlights/taillights, and test your brakes. Never drive into the mountains in a vehicle that needs service. It is also advisable to make sure your car is equipped with an emergency roadside kit that includes flares, a radio, warm blankets, First Aid kit, water, and light snacks.

We live in Colorado, so pay close attention to the weather. Be ready for any changes that may happen. It is not unheard of for snow to fall on Estes Park, Trail Ridge, and the Eisenhower Tunnel at this time of year. Similarly, if it rains at elevation, exercise extra caution during early morning and evening hours, as the roads can ice over.

As always, stay alert for wildlife. Deer, elk, antelope, Bighorn sheep, raccoons, and the occasional mountain lion are known to wander into the path of traffic on US 34, US 285, US 36, US 119, and I-70. When driving these routes, scan the side of the road for nearby wildlife.

You should also stay alert and watch out for distracted driving. The scenic beauty of Colorado is legendary, and many drivers get lost in the view. Sometimes, it is the last thing they see. Watch closely for vehicles that are weaving between lanes, veering out of the lane of travel, or not maintaining a constant speed.

Further, don’t become distracted yourself. Stay focused on the road and take advantage of places to pull off at points of interest along the way. Remember, you should never stop on the shoulder unless it is an emergency, and there is sufficient space for you to pull over without blocking the lane of travel.

If a distracted driving incident ruined your weekend drive into the mountains, contact Sloat, Nicholson, & Hoover, P.C. at (303) 447-1144. Our attorneys can help you recover compensation for your injuries so that you can get back on the road again.

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