(Colorado) – Staying centered is good at any age and it turns out this also holds true for staying centered in your driving lane. Looking at crashes investigated by troopers, the Colorado State Patrol examined the top crash causal factors over a three-year period (2019-2021). Data revealed that no matter what age group the driver was in, all generations within driving age had one thing in common, lane violations were either the first or second most common causal factors for fatal crashes.
“Looking at the most tragic crashes, the ones where lives are lost, lane violations are undeniably a leading factor,” stated Col. Matthew C. Packard, Chief of the Colorado State Patrol. “Sometimes it is a bad habit like preferring to hug the center line as we drive or other times it is because we are driving recklessly making poor passes or cutting over a lane without seeing another vehicle.”
Top Two Crash Causal Factors in Fatal Crashes (2019-2021)
Age Range of Driver
Lane violations can be switching lanes in an unsafe manner, driving too close to the center line and crossing over or likewise driving too close to the exterior lane line and crossing over. Driving centered in a lane with equal distance on both sides of the vehicle is the primary or “default” position for normal circumstances to drive.
Hugging lane lines can be very dangerous because of vehicles driving in the opposite direction (center line) or parked vehicles and pedestrians (outer lane line) or even other vehicle adjacent to you. Providing space on both sides of your vehicles can give you the time and space you need to avoid someone or something else crossing into your lane.
“It’s also very important that we don’t solely rely on collision warning sensors to safely pass another vehicle, while these systems help the driver they are not perfect,” stated Col. Packard. “As a driver, you have to check to ensure the lane is clear or you have adequate space to go into another lane. Your actions can cause a change reaction.”