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The Colorado drivers' handbook

To inform motorists about the rules of the road and best practices for safe driving, Colorado maintains a new drivers' handbook. Yet this handbook is useful for both new and experienced drivers. In addition, new risks on the road and changes in the law mean everyone should be up-to-date with the basics of road safety.

Below are some tips to help you look out for your well-being and that of your passengers and others with whom you share the roadways.

Avoid distracted driving

Even momentary distractions can have serious consequences. Before starting your trip, adjust your mirrors and seat. Secure any loose objects so they don't take your attention away from the road while you're driving. Be sure children are secured with the appropriate restraints.

Once on the road, limit cell phone use. If you are under 18, you are permitted to use your phone only for emergency calls. For all drivers, texting is prohibited except in an emergency.

General good driving tips

  • In vehicles equipped with air bags, placing your hands at the 10:00 and 2:00 positions on the steering wheel could pose a safety hazard.
  • When vehicles meet on a steep mountain road that is too narrow to allow them to pass each other, the vehicle going downhill must yield to the uphill-bound vehicle by backing up and leaving sufficient space to pass, unless it is impractical to do so.
  • When driving through fog at night, do not use your high beams. Instead, use fog lights (if you have them) and low beams.
  • Be especially cautious when driving through work zones. Colorado has doubled the fines for most violations in these areas. Obey signs and pay close attention to the vehicle in front of you, as most work zone accidents tend to be rear-end collisions.
  • Be especially careful when sharing the roadways with trucks and buses. The larger they are, the bigger their blind spots. 
  • Always yield the right-of-way to pedestrians and drivers who arrive at an intersection before you do.
  • Report aggressive drivers by dialing CSP (277).

Light rail precautions

In some areas, light rail vehicles (LRVs) operate as other motor vehicles do. In others, they travel in the opposite direction of traffic. Pedestrians should avoid stepping on the rails-- they can be slippery -- or climbing between LRVs that are hooked together. Drivers should be sure their vehicles have enough space to pass under overhead wires, which have a standard height of 18 feet.

New and experienced drivers alike should review the handbook to keep themselves up-to-date on the latest traffic laws and safety information.

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