President's Message


Tony DeNovellis
President and CEO

Help make the summer safer

From its inception, AAA Colorado has focused on the safety and security of motorists, bicyclists and pedestrians. As the summer travel season approaches, we would like to offer some suggestions to help make your driving in Colorado a bit safer.

Rocks on the road

Although this spring’s rock fall in Glenwood Canyon made headlines, that stretch of I-70 is hardly the only spot in our state where this hazard exists. It’s extremely rare for a rock to come down on a car, though state-wide there is, on average, one fatality per year from rocks striking autos, according to the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT).

Although gravity never takes a vacation, rocks are more likely to tumble down in the spring and fall. The reason? It’s due to the freeze/thaw cycles in those periods. Summer showers can also set rocks moving, as well as wildlife scrambling through the high country, or by hikers headed for broader views.

While some may worry about a stone missile hitting their car, CDOT notes that damage most often occurs by driving over fallen rocks. So please drive the speed limit (or a safe speed for conditions) so you can react to road hazards.

Watch for wildlife

While cars colliding with rocks certainly garner more media coverage, it is collisions with wildlife that cause more accidents on our roads. When driving in the early morning or at dusk—when animals are either ready to bed down for the day or are up and seeking food—be vigilant to scan the road’s shoulders for wildlife. Keep your eyes on the road in front of you, but stay alert for sudden movements so you can react. According to The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, auto-animal accidents account for 200 human fatalities annually in the U.S.

Common courtesy

Sadly, many of us witness unsafe driving every day. Please be a good example—to your family and to others on the road.

If you’re enjoying the sights as you drive, pull over to allow other traffic to come around you—and remember that it’s a state law to pull over if five or more vehicles are held up behind your car. If you’re intent on watching wildlife, make certain your car is well off the road. And off the road is also the best spot for you to make your cell calls or send a text message.

Finally, keep an eye trained on bicyclists and give them a three-foot berth as you pass them. Like other road users, not all of them adhere to Colorado laws—but cyclists also lack a steel cocoon to protect their bodies during collisions.

It all comes down to a basic idea: If you extend courtesy to others, you’ll likely see it returned to you.

Tony DeNovellis
President and CEO

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