Summer Mountain Driving
Are you and your car ready to conquer the more than 5,000 foot elevation gain and decent between C-470 and the Eisenhower Johnson Memorial Tunnel? Routine vehicle maintenance, route planning and proper road etiquette is essential for stress-free summer journeys on I-70. Here are some tips to make sure you’re ready for mountain driving this summer.
- Plan Your Route — Traffic congestion along I-70 is predictable, so it’s always best to plan your route and avoid the crowds. Steer clear of peak travel times to avoid bumper-to-bumper traffic – Fridays between 2-7 p.m. and Sundays between 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Also, be cognizant of roadwork and other conditions that may delay your drive. Visit GoI70.com/travel for a weekly I-70 travel forecast, check CoTrip.org or call 511 from anywhere in Colorado for road conditions throughout the state, and sign up for GovDelivery for text/email alerts.
- Fluids — Make sure you and your vehicle are hydrated. The five and six percent grades along I-70 will task your engine, keep coolant topped off to keep your car moving up the steep hills. For yourself, the high altitude can quickly dehydrate, turning even a minor I-70 delay into a dehydration-induced headache! Have plenty of water in your car and extra radiator coolant on hand.
- Easy on the Brakes, Use Lower Gears—Riding your breaks down steep grades heat them up and puts your car at risk of total brake failure. Instead of grinding your brake pads, use lower gears to slow you down. For manual transmission, downshift to appropriate lower gears, and for automatic use "L" or "2" on the shift panel.
- Use the Right Lane! — We’ve all been there, stuck behind a wall of two slow moving vehicles. Traffic can already be taxing at times on I-70 – make sure you’re not the cause of it! Use the left lane for passing other vehicles, otherwise stay in the right lane.