Colorado Runaway Truck Ramps Explained: What They Are + Why They’re So Important
Driving in a state full of mountains like Colorado can take some getting used to, but it is even more nerve-wracking for truck drivers.
If you've ever driven through a particularly mountainous area in Colorado you have probably come across a few runaway truck ramps, but many newcomers have no idea how these ramps work or just how often they are used.
What is A Runaway Truck Ramp in Colorado?
A runaway truck ramp is an exit located along steep roads and highways in Colorado that truck drivers can take to avoid colliding with other vehicles if they experience a brake failure.
Why Do Trucks Experience Brake Failure in Colorado?
Truckers driving vehicles that are 70 feet long and weigh up to 80,000 pounds can easily overheat their brakes to the point of failure due to Colorado's high elevation and various terrains.
Severe weather also poses a challenge to truck drivers year-round due to high winds, rockfalls, floods, extreme snow, and more.
When and Where Are Runaway Trucks Ramps Most Often Used in Colorado?
According to a COTrip map, there are 13 runaway truck ramps located in Colorado. Here is where to find them:
- US 141 Eastbound at Mile Point 18, 17 miles north of the Dove Creek area.
- US 550 Eastbound at Mile Point 52 in the Coal Bank Pass area.
- US 160 Westbound at Mile Point 160 in the Wolf Creek Pass area.
- US 160 Westbound at Mile Point 162 in the Wolf Creek Pass area.
- US 50 Westbound at Mile Point 194 in the Monarch Pass area.
- US 50 Eastbound at Mile Point 204 in the Monarch Pass area.
- I-70 Westbound at Mile Point 182 in the Vail Pass area.
- I-70 Westbound at Mile Point 185 in the Vail Pass area.
- I-70 Westbound at Mile Point 209, 3 miles east of the Silverthorne area.
- I-70 Westbound at Mile Point 212, 1 mile west of the Eisenhower Tunnel area.
- US 6 Eastbound at Mile Point 218, 2 miles west of Loveland Pass.
- I-70 Eastbound at Mile Point 257 in the Mount Vernon Canyon area.
- US 40 Westbound at Mile Point 142 in the Rabbit Ears Pass area.
Some may assume that truck ramps are most frequently used in the winter, but CDOT reports that truck ramps are actually most often used in the summer. The most used truck ramp in Colorado and all of the U.S. is the Lower Straight Creek runaway truck ramp along westbound Interstate 70 at Milepost 211.83.