CDOT stages crash on C-470 to remind drivers about dangers of rubbernecking

DOUGLAS COUNTY, Colo. -- There was a single-car rollover crash near Santa Fe Drive and C-470 on Wednesday morning.

Nobody was hurt. In fact, nobody was in the vehicle.

It was a staged car crash by the Colorado Department of Transportation to get "rubberneckers to stop rubbernecking."

It was an eerily realistic seen. Light drizzle, cold temperatures, wet roads. Great conditions for a terrible accident.

But it was only a training event and not real.

But what is real is 25 percent of all accidents are secondary crashes, causing one in five of all fatalities.

CDOT says enough is enough.

“What this event was today was basically a scenario to show first responder safety, quick clearance, that’s our main goal,“ said Michael Laughlin, CDOT highway incident commander.

When accidents occur and other drivers start to stare and rubberneck, that’s when things can go really bad.

"CSP just lost one last year and the year before that they lost another trooper on the interstate on a minor accident," Laughlin said. "We also lost one of our own down in Pagosa Springs."

This is a first-of-its-kind event for CDOT, and it’s more for the public then law enforcement.

The message to all drivers is simple.

"Hey, if it’s a minor traffic accident, we’re asking your assistance to move it off to the side of the road," Laughlin said.

Not only is CDOT asking, it’s Colorado state law. If there are no drugs or alcohol or major injuries, drivers need to move vehicles out of the lane of traffic.

"Be safe out there, move your vehicles off to the side of the road,”  Laughlin said.

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