woman driving car in snow, looking out the car window | Colorado winter driving tipsColorado finally got its first snowstorm since Mid-October. On January 11th, snow fell around the Denver metro area and across the Rocky Mountains. Up to 6 inches fell in the foothills to the west of Denver and Mountain Resorts saw double digit accumulation totals over the weekend. Shaffer’s Crossing saw 18 inches of snow, while Aspen Park saw 13.4 inches. Breckenridge got 8.8 inches of snow and Centennial saw 7.5 inches of snow. Denver got just under 3 inches of snow for the weekend. 

Colorado drivers are used to driving in the snow and ice, however, not everyone takes the necessary precautions to drive safely. Morning commutes can be rough when drivers take risks and drive over the speed limit. When driving in inclement weather, there are some important Colorado winter driving tips you should keep in mind that will help you stay safe and avoid serious accidents.

  • Check Your Tires – all-season tires are a good bet in Colorado. But in the winter, and especially in mountain driving, Colorado drivers often need to have extra traction. The Colorado Department of Transportation will often put in place traction or chain laws during periods of heavy snow. Always ensure that your tires are equipped to handle the snow and never ever drive on worn out or balding tires.
  • Check Your Battery – cold weather will suck some of the energy from old batteries. In fact, cold weather will cause batteries to operate between 30% and 60% worse. Be sure your battery is running optimally and change it if it’s getting old.
  • Check your Fluids – windshield wiper fluid, antifreeze, oil, and other fluids are essential to driving in snowy and icy conditions. No-freeze washer fluid is a must buy so you can wash away the accumulated snow, ice, and gunk from your windshield. Also, it is imperative that you purchase antifreeze rated for winter conditions.
  • Clear Off Snow and Ice – be sure to clear off snow and ice before you start driving. Dangerous and deadly accidents have been caused by large chunks of ice falling from vehicles going at a high rate of speed.
  • Accelerate Slowly – it is often difficult to gain traction in the snow. As such, go slowly when you begin accelerating. This will reduce your chances of skidding or losing control of your vehicle.
  • Avoid Braking Suddenly – use lower gear when decelerating and avoid braking quickly if at all possible. Braking suddenly can cause your car to slide and can increase the chances of getting into a serious accident. Don’t know how slow to go or how easily to brake? Imagine driving with a cup of hot coffee in your lap.
  • Don’t Speed – it is never a good idea to go faster than the posted speed limits signs, but in snowy winter weather it is downright dangerous. In fact, it is best to go slower than the speed limit when weather gets really treacherous. Be careful under overpasses or under bridges where water may have frozen over.
  • Don’t Tailgate – always stay far away from the car in front of you during snowy weather. Visibility is often reduced and it can take longer to brake. Give yourself plenty of distance and time to react to the road hazards.

Further Reading: Trucking Accidents are Often Catastrophic 

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