Regardless of the season, climbing through Colorado’s mountains gives you exceptionally beautiful views. Even at night, climbing to the top of any of the state’s passes can provide you with some of the clearest views of the night sky, since you can see just how many stars you miss living here in Denver, where light pollution makes it difficult to see them.
While these are, without a doubt, some of the best advantages of living here, driving through the mountains also creates certain dangers that only increase when the weather is less than cooperative. Rain, snow and ice make driving through the mountains treacherous, and anyone who has lived here for any appreciable amount of time knows that sharing these roads with trucks can be an anxiety-ridden experience.
The mistakes truck drivers make in the mountains
Long-haul truck drivers who don’t live in Colorado full time could make one or more of the serious mistakes below that could easily lead to tragedy:
- Some mountain roads come with steep grades, and controlling a vehicle weighing up to 80,000 pounds isn’t easy. Truck drivers may fail to appropriately control their engines as they climb or descend on steep grades and lose control of their mammoth vehicles.
- Since truck drivers must often meet strict deadlines to deliver their goods, they may not slow down to accommodate mountain roads, with or without inclement weather. A big rig is more difficult to control if the driver fails to keep the speed slow and steady.
- Living here, you know that the weather can vary dramatically, depending on elevation. If a truck driver fails to take this into consideration, he or she may wait too long to put on chains and otherwise adjust driving habits for road conditions.
- If a trucker follows too closely behind your vehicle on a downhill grade, you could end up run over by the truck. It’s easy to lose control of the speed of your vehicle on a downgrade, let alone for a large and heavy vehicle like an 18-wheeler.
Truck drivers may learn in school how to adjust their driving for mountain terrain, but that does not mean they will put those lessons into action when the time comes. Inexperience, lack of training, distraction, drowsiness and other factors could make for a disaster waiting to happen.
If you have the misfortune of being in the way of a truck when the driver makes one of the above mistakes, you could pay the price — physically, mentally, emotionally and financially. You may find it advantageous to exercise your right to pursue the compensation you deserve in the aftermath of an accident involving a truck driver who failed to properly navigate Colorado’s mountains.