By Joel Hillan

DOUGLAS COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4)– The Colorado Department of Transportation launched a new safety campaign focused on “The Gap” an 18-mile stretch of Interstate 25 between Monument and C-470.

CDOT reported 5,537 crashes along I-25 between C-470 and Colorado Springs from 2011 to 2015 with rear-end and side-swipe collisions being the most common.

CDOT hopes their Mind the Gap campaign will cause drivers to pause and focus on the fundamentals of being a defensive driver: Driving the speed limit, allowing proper space between you and the car in front of you, checking your blind spot before changing lanes, and driving as is appropriate for weather or other road conditions.

The Gap is a stretch of interstate that has not been upgraded since the 1950s and even if funding is secured construction won’t start until the Summer of 2019. Until then, CDOT is asking for the public’s help in reducing accidents and making the roads safer.

Joel Hillan is CBS4’s Traffic Specialist and is featured on CBS4 This Morning. Follow Joel on Twitter @joelhillan.