(COLORADO) — The Colorado State Patrol (CSP) said aggressive driving is the top reason drivers commit lane violations with the only exception being inexperience behind the wheel.

CSP said lane violations have proven to be particularly deadly in 2022 with lane violations deemed the top causal factor for injury and fatal crashes investigated by CSP.

“While many of us have been saying that driving in Colorado has gotten very unpleasant since the pandemic and fellow motorists seem more reckless than ever, we now see a consistent and disappointing trend with our data,” stated Col. Matthew C. Packard, chief of the Colorado State Patrol. “Driving etiquette seems to have gone out the window and it’s time for drivers to bring it back before their aggressive behaviors result in a citation or worse, a horrible crash.” 

CSP is offering its top five driving etiquette rules for drivers to follow:

  • “Use the shoulder only for emergencies – never use the shoulder to weave through traffic, bypass a line to merge again into the lane, eat or go through paperwork, etc.”
  • “Don’t tailgate – leave space between you and the car in front of you, it is not only rude, it could also cause a crash if the driver needs to stop quickly.”
  • “Let others merge – courteous driving consists of allowing other motorists to merge into traffic or to get off a highway, by giving them some space to do that safely. Also, practice alternating (zipper merging) in congested areas.”
  • “Don’t drive if you are distracted – the only thing you should be focused on while driving is the road. Weaving across a lane line, inconsistent braking or speed, and failing to respond to changing traffic lights due to distraction impacts other motorists around you.”
  • “Don’t respond to aggressive drivers – while tempting to react to an aggressive motorist, take a deep breath and just don’t. Give yourself space from an angry or aggressive driver.”

CSP is launching a yearlong campaign “Stay in Your Lane,” a campaign designed to remind people to control their lane position based on their current driving environment. The campaign also aims to bring attention to three of the most common and avoidable behaviors that contribute to lane violations – driving aggressively, driving distracted, or driving while impaired.