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Driver Safety Tip | The I-70 Corridor | Colorado Mountain Driving

Hey folks, I’m Saul Reisman here at Saul’s Autotek, and today I’m here to talk to you about Interstate 70 going through Colorado.

Now the stretch of I-70 that goes between Glenwood Canyon and the Front Range of Colorado from Exits approximately 120 to 259 is a famous stretch of road.

Not only are motor vehicle manufacturers from around the world using this 130-mile stretch of freeway to test motor vehicles, but a majority of major, major traffic and tourism happens on this stretch of road. Additionally, this stretch is famous for having winter weather 11 out of 12 months of the year and requiring chains and four-wheel drive the majority of the time. There’re actually specific laws regarding truckers carrying equipment through this stretch year-round no matter what.

The reason we’re going to touch about this is I-70 is a great access point to come play in the mountains of Colorado. If you’re here as a tourist and you want an adventure, if you’re a local and you just want to get out and about, or if you’re just looking for better safe driving tips, there are a few different things we can go through.

The first is there are other people there with you. I-70 is a two-lane each way freeway for that entire stretch. As a result, traffic and congestion often builds up on weekend afternoons coming back to the city or on Friday afternoons going up into the mountains. If you find yourself stuck in that congestion, there’s a couple of different things you can do.

First, relax. You’re in traffic, but you’re not in the city. You’re in the mountains looking at some beautiful scenery. It could always be worse. Second, give a little bit more following distance. We actually recommend if you’re in slow traffic downshifting just as you would going down those big hills at high speeds just so you don’t have to hurt your brakes as much coming down. If you’re in traffic coming down the hill, we recommend hanging out in third or second gear at speeds between 20, 40, 45, 50 even, miles an hour so that you can keep control of the vehicle without constantly hitting the brakes to slow you down in that stop-and-go traffic.

At the same time, if you find yourself stopped in traffic going up the hill, which is very common, specifically between Idaho Springs and Georgetown, if you’re in that stretch, rather than sit there and step on the gas and let off and step on the gas and let off every time that car in front of you moves a few feet, give that little bit of following distance. Not only will you be more courteous to the other drivers on the road, be less jerky on the throttle which saves you some fuel economy, but your engine will actually be breathing a little bit cooler air rather than being right behind the tailpipe of that car in front of you. You’ll also help all the folks around you have a better time in traffic as you’ll increase visibility.

Now, when traffic gets really, really bad on that stretch, there’s not a lot you can do. There’s plenty of places you can stop along the way, whether it’s in Summit County, Dillon, Frisco, or even hop off to Breckenridge, or on the other side of the hill coming down, Georgetown, and Idaho Springs are great stop-off points for you to grab a bite, see the local scenery, and see a small town that’s still thriving from its mining days rather than just be sitting there stopped burning up fuel.

The other suggestion that we have for you is playing nice with those around you when driving on the I-70 Corridor.

We’re all here to have fun, and most of the folks next to you on the road are out enjoying the day as well. If you find yourself stuck on I-70 traffic, always remember, at least you’re in beautiful scenery in a beautiful place surrounded by folks looking to have a good time. It could always be worse.

If you’ve got a problem with your vehicle in this stretch, if you find yourself overheating on I-70 in that stretch going up or burning up the brakes coming down, or you’re coming down those hills too quick and you start hearing those high speed rotating noises from the vehicle because the brakes or the bearings are having an issue, Saul’s Automotive is here 365 days a year to keep you on the road. So, if you’re traveling for the holiday weekend, and because it’s Memorial Day, Labor Day, New Year’s, Christmas, maybe even Fourth of July, and your Denver vehicle is stuck out there, we’ll be here to help.

If you find yourself in that I-70 congestion and you need a solution, we’re the answer here at Saul’s Automotive, 303-919-7769. Talk to you soon.

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About the Author

Picture of Saul Reisman

Saul Reisman

Saul Reisman has been helping the residents of the Centennial State with their automotive needs for over ten years now. He finished his Associate Degree in Physics at the Community College of Denver. Saul is an active member of the Specialty Equipment Market Association and a board member of the Young Executives Network. He undergoes constant educational training through GMC, MOPAR, Ford, Snap-On, Borg-Warner, and Ozark Automotive, with an emphasis on diagnosis, repair, and improvement.

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