Denver saw its first big snow on October 10, as well as its first seasonal traffic snafus. Hundreds of accidents occurred during that morning snowstorm, and the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety argues that the vast majority, or about 95 percent, were caused by bad driving.
Readers were quick to respond. And while the snow has melted, the debate continues.
Yeah, let's blame the 10% of transplants. GTFOH. I'm on the road all day, every day. It's definitely you native Coloradans that are the majority of the problem. A lot of people in pickups and SUVs think they have magical braking power because of all-wheel drive.
Adam puts some of the blame on authorities:
Maybe they should have treated the roads. They did know a week in advance that it was coming.
And Joshua urges caution:
I drove around 150 miles around the city, witnessed countless crashes and didn’t cause and wasn't involved in a single one...common sense and experience goes a long way. If you “lost control and caused a crash,” go home to where you came from. This was hardly a storm. It will be much worse in January and February....
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Within minutes of the storm's first wave ebbing on October 10, the local AAA office sent out a blast of its own. "Winter Driving: Here's What Went Wrong This AM" — issued under the auspices of AAA spokesperson Skyler McKinney, who served as deputy director of Colorado's Office of Marijuana for the administration of former governor John Hickenlooper — cites National Highway Traffic Safety Administration data estimating that "nearly 95 percent of all crashes are the result of driver error" before offering up a list of sample comments from folks who had problems during the storm, followed by responses intended to deliver the cold, hard truth.
In the AAA release, in each and every case, the blame for what happened was placed squarely on the person doing the bitching.
Such conclusions may seem harsh to those whose ride wound up crumpled and immobile on the side of the road. But the advice is definitely worth keeping in mind the next time conditions turn ugly, as they're absolutely guaranteed to do multiple times over the course of the next few months.
Where were you during that first snowstorm? What did you think about the road conditions? The drivers around you? Let us know in a comment or at firstname.lastname@example.org.