RULES OF THE ROAD
(State of Colorado)
7. Rules of the road
Almost half of the fatal accidents on Colorado highways involve excessive speed. Of all the possible causes of accidents, speeding or driving too fast for conditions is perhaps the most common and the most dangerous.
LIMITS - Speed limit signs indicate the maximum speed allowed in ideal conditions. Some roads, such as freeways, have minimum speed limits posted. Driving slower than the minimum speed limit, in ideal conditions, is a traffic violation. Regardless of what the posted limit is, your safety and the safety of others may be affected by many things and it may be necessary to reduce your speed (See Safe Driving Tips).
REDUCED SPEED ZONES: At various locations, such as school zones and construction zones, a reduced speed is required during certain hours or periods of the day when temporary hazards exist. Signs will indicate when the lower speed limit is in effect.
Unless otherwise posted, Colorado speed limits are as follows:
20 M.P.H. - on narrow, winding mountain highways and blind curves.
25 M.P.H. - in any business district.
30 M.P.H. - in any residence district.
40 M.P.H. - on open mountain highways.
45 M.P.H. - for vehicles in the business of hauling trash.
55 M.P.H. - on urban interstate and highways.
65-75 M.P.H. - on designated rural interstate and highways.
STOPPING DISTANCE: Be alert so that you know when you will have to stop well ahead of time. Stopping suddenly is dangerous and usually points to a driver who was not paying attention. When you brake quickly, you could skid and lose control of your vehicle. You also make it harder for drivers behind you to stop without hitting you.
Try to avoid panic stops by seeing events well in advance. By slowing down or changing lanes, you may not have to stop at all, and if you do, it can be a more gradual and safer stop.
According to the National Safety Council, a lightweight passenger car traveling at 55 m.p.h. can stop in about 200 feet. Other vehicles require different stopping distances. The chart above shows stopping distances, under ideal conditions.