Free Press Letter: Ill-prepared drivers cause wintertime accidents on Colorado’s Interstate 70
I am responding to the recent article about Interstate 70 drivers. I have been a fleet mechanic for the past 30-plus years and notice things about vehicles most would not even see.
When I drive to Denver, I see vehicles with brake lights burned out, tires out of balance, vehicles needing alignments, and no signal lights (or they’re just not using them).
My last winter trip was a really wild ride. It was October and we were in my Ranger. During the last climb from Vail to the tunnel it was snowing when we came to a gaggle of vehicles all over the highway. Some were sideways, backwards, wheels were spinning, and most were slipping backwards. A large delivery van was spinning its wheels so fast it was sideways. The Suburban in front of me was going about 20 mph, so I shifted into low and followed him as we snaked our way through the mess without spinning or slipping.
The problem was partially due to weather conditions, but the drivers didn’t have a clue how to drive in those conditions! They may have watched too many TV commercials showing the SUV flying over snow-covered roads with no problems. Most of the vehicles I saw were Subarus, Volvos and some of the cheaper SUVs. Tires are also a problem, as I have warned many people I see at gas stations or rest areas that their tires look worn (usually down to wear bars or bald) or other noticeable problems.
I think Colorado should revert back to the vehicle inspection. This would not only generate jobs and revenue, but it could save lives. I’m not sure what to do about driver stupidity though — maybe fine them like you do truckers without chains.
Grand Junction, Colo.
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