Vail Valley not yet done with winter |

Vail Valley not yet done with winter

Scott N. Miller
Vail Daily editorial board

How soon we forget.

Over the course of a fairly serious winter, most of us who commute on Interstate 70 got pretty good at navigating through snowstorms and over icy roads. Then we had a nice spring break, and some of us apparently forgot those skills.

The Monday-morning drive between Gypsum and Avon was marked by no fewer than three accident scenes and at least three cars on their sides or tops in the highway’s median strip.

That’s a lot of work for tow trucks and body shops for one stretch of highway on one morning.

The news was much worse later Monday, when a multi-car pileup on Vail Pass resulted in one death and several serious injuries. Vail Pass was closed in both directions for hours as a result.

As this is written, we don’t know what caused the accidents on Vail Pass. And blizzard conditions over the pass can be far worse than what commuters face on the valley floor. But the bottom line is that winter hasn’t yet turned us loose, folks, and we need to have our winter driving skills filed right up front among our mental skills.

Monday’s commute provided a good example of why Colorado State Patrol officers have started leading packs of traffic through potentially hazardous stretches of local highways, and writing tickets to drivers foolish enough to pass a police car with its emergency lights on.

The irony of Monday morning’s accidents is that cars and tires have never been better at safely handling sloppy or icy roads. But that competence apparently lulls some of us into believing our cars will handle whatever nature throws at us, so we can continue to send text messages while we’re driving the speed limit on our way to work.

Please, friends: Be careful out there.

Scott N. Miller

For the editorial board

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