Four months after an out-of-control runaway truck slammed into stopped traffic near Lakewood, Colorado and killed four people, a trucking software supplier is adding in-cab mountain corridor safety alerts.
Drivers whose companies subscribe to Drivewyze Inc.’s PreClear weigh station bypass application will receive in-cab alerts of upcoming safe locations to pull over for brake check inspections. They also see prompts showing suggested maximum speeds on steep grades and the location of upcoming runaway ramps.
Colorado is the first state in the new alert program. It covers seven Colorado mountain passes. The Drivewyze Safety Notifications package will be available in 22 additional states by the end of August, the company said.
In July, Drivewyze introduced in-cab rollover alerts on 500 geo-fenced exit ramps and curves in 32 states and 1,500 low bridge warnings in the U.S. Drivewyze has since added 300 low bridge warnings on Canadian roadways.
The mountain corridor alerts cover 60 miles of Interstate 70 from Vail Pass, through Eisenhower Tunnel to the west and to Mt. Vernon Canyon heading east. Drivewyze also is providing alerts for Rabbit Ears Pass, Loveland Pass, Monarch Pass, Slickrock Pass, Wolf Creek Pass and Coal Bank Pass.
“It’s a challenge for truck drivers with steep grades and heavy traffic – especially for those new to mountain driving,” said Brian Mofford, Drivewyze vice president of Government Experience. “Brakes can get hot and fail for those who are not ready. It’s why we have notifications for runaway ramps as a last resort safeguard for a safe stop.”
The Colorado State Patrol, which launched a program called “The Mountain Rules” said it encourages truckers to use emergency ramps if they sense they might lose control of their rig.
“Should your brakes fail, please save lives, and use the ramps,” said Colonel Matthew Packard from the Colorado State Patrol.
The I-70 pass is known as one of the country’s most difficult for truck drivers. Five runaway ramps along the corridor have helped avert other crashes. One of them, the Lower Straight Creek runaway truck ramp along westbound I-70, is the most-used in the U.S.
“Nothing is as challenging as what Colorado has,” said Dennis Atencio, vice president of risk management Apex Transportation. “If you’re not familiar with mountain driving – it’s very daunting – I-70 is especially intimidating.”
Drivewyze’s PreClear weigh station bypass application are available on supported electronic logging devices and other in-cab devices. They are available at more than 800 locations in 45 states and Canadian provinces.