The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) recently shared a video to educate truck drivers on how to navigate mountain driving safely.
The video debuted on December 15 and is part of a safety campaign called “Mountain Rules” conducted by CDOT in partnership with the Colorado State Patrol (CSP) and Colorado Motor Carriers Association (CMCA).
The video provides an overview of the challenging conditions that truck drivers could face in the I-70 Mountain Corridor, including inclement weather, steep grades, hot brakes, and hazards like rockslides or wildfires.
For additional information from CDOT on the truck safety campaign, see the document below.
CDOT’s Truck Safety Campaign
WHAT IS THIS CAMPAIGN?
● A strategic safety partnership: As part of CDOT’s Whole System — Whole Safety initiative,and in light of the recent runaway truck incidents that resulted in fatalities, CDOT has established a strategic partnership with the Colorado Motor Carriers Association, the Colorado State Patrol, and in-cab driver alert providers PrePass Safety Alliance and Drivewyze.
● A comprehensive safety-focused effort: To inform and educate in-state and intra-state
trucking companies and drivers of the challenges of driving in Colorado’s mountains, what to beware of, and to remember SLOW, STEADY, and SAFE FOR THE LONG HAUL.
● The first of its kind for Colorado: The Mountain Rules will be utilizing the I-70 Mountain
Corridor as a pilot area for truckers to implement new safety elements and protocols.
WHY DO WE NEED THE MOUNTAIN RULES?
● Colorado’s high elevation and topography can be challenging and require motorists to proceed with extra caution. Truckers have it especially hard in the mountains. When driving a vehicle that’s up to 70 feet long and weighing up to 80,000 pounds, the terrain along the mountain corridor can increase the likelihood of brake failure.
● Colorado experiences severe weather events that make driving difficult in the mountains, with high winds and storms that can bring extreme snow and hail. Colorado is also susceptible to hazards such as rockfalls, fires and floods. All of these elements can cause additional challenges and problems for trucks along the I-70 Mountain Corridor.
● The Mountain Rules is an industry-informed effort. Using a focus group with the help of the Colorado Motor Carriers Association, CDOT was able to identify the best approach for
providing alerts, including timing of advance notifications, locations and frequencies for
reminders, and the type of alerts (audio and/or visual).
● Driver alerts are subscription-based and include in-cab driver alerts that notify drivers of steep grades, locations of runaway truck ramps, and areas for brake check and cooling.
RUNAWAY TRUCK RAMPS
● Runaway truck ramps exist to provide refuge when a vehicle loses its brakes traveling at higher speeds on steep downgrades.
● Runaway truck ramps are usually located on steep, sustained grades in mountainous areas.
● Long descending grades can result in reaching high-vehicle speeds, and heavy truck brakes can overheat and fail through extensive use.
● Colorado has five runaway truck ramps along the I-70 Mountain Corridor. See Stats on
Reported Runaway Truck Ramp Usage along I-70 for location information.
RUNAWAY TRUCK RAMP USAGE
● Runaway truck ramps are used most frequently in the summer.
● The Lower Straight Creek runaway truck ramp along westbound I-70 at Milepost 211.83 is the most heavily used runaway truck ramp not only in Colorado, but also in the U.S. The ramp is estimated to be used once per week in the summer months.
● Key areas for hot brakes along I-70 include westbound traffic just east of Silverthorne near exit 205, and eastbound traffic near Georgetown at exit 228.