Know before you go
HAVE A PLAN
• Prepare a winterized emergency vehicle kit with water, snacks, flashlight, shovel, traction devices, flares, jumper cables, blankets and first aid kit.
• Always plan your route in advance.
• Let someone know your route and ETA.
• Check road conditions at COtrip.org.
• Give your vehicle a tune-up before long trips. Get an oil change if necessary.
• Inspect the battery, brakes and pads.
• Make sure the wiper blades work properly.
• Have a full tank of gas.
• Check your headlights, brake lights, turn signals, emergency flashers and interior lights. Be sure to check trailer brake lights and turn signals.
• Scrape all frost, ice and snow off your windows.
• Don’t forget the back window; it’s essential to scrape your back window for full visability.
CHECK YOUR TIRES
• Check the air pressure in all tires, including your spare.
• Make sure your tires have good tread.
• During winter months, invest in a set of snow tires. When it comes to stopping safely on snow and ice, regular tires simply don’t compare to winter tires.
• CODE 18 COMMERCIAL CHAIN LAW — Commercial vehicles and trucks should carry chains.For the safety of the traveling public, it’s critical to use chains to be in compliance with Colorado chain law.
• CODE 15 PASSENGER TRACTION LAW — All passenger vehicles must have appropriate all-weather tires with 3/16-inch depth. Vehicles must have one of the following: snow tires, tires with mud/snow (M+S) designation, chains or alternative traction devices such as an autosock. 4WD and AWD vehicles must have snow tires or all weather tires.
• CODE 16 PASSENGER CHAIN LAW — All passenger vehicles need chains, except for 4WD and AWD vehicles with all-weather tires with 3/16-inch tread depth.
While on the road
DRIVE FOR CONDITIONS
• Don’t drive faster than you can see ahead. High speeds in poor visibility can lead to crashes and dangerous chain reactions.
• Don’t forget to turn on your headlghts!
• If you’re stuck in a serious storm, do not leave your vehicle. Run the engine periodically and wait for help.
LEAVE PLENTY OF ROOM
• Don’t tailgate! Leave extra room between your vehicle and others. In inclement weather, even 4WD/ AWD vehicles cannot stop any quicker on slick roads especially if you do not have adequate tires.
• Give pedestrians and bicyclists room when you see them on the road.
• Move over safely when approaching first responders or law enforcement responding to emergency incidents on the side of the road.
BOW TO THE PLOW
• PASSING ON THE RIGHT — This is never a good idea! Plows are designed to push all the snow, slush, rocks and other debris to the right of the plow.
That debris could damage your car and temporarily obstruct your view.
• DON’T CROWD THE PLOW — Plows need to drop deicer and sand, so make sure you stay back three to four car lengths. If you’re too close, deicer and sand could hit your car. You also never know when a plow might need to suddenly stop, make sure you have plenty of room to do the same.
• TANDEM/ECHELON PLOWING — Tandem/echelon plowing staggers multiple plows to cover all lanes and clear the entire roadway in one sweep. This is the safest and most efficient snow removal method. It is extremely dangerous for motorists to try and pass plows in this formation because you could encounter white-out conditions and ridges of snow between lanes.