October 18, 2013

Winter Driving: Are you prepared?

It is wintertime in the mountains already!  The week of October 20th is Winter Weather Preparedness Week in Colorado and is an excellent time for I-70 travelers to prepare their vehicles for winter travel.  Thank you to the National Weather Service for the valuable information below.

A well-equipped vehicle has adequate tires, tire chains, tow rope, sand or cat litter for traction, shovel, tool kit, windshield scraper and brush, battery cables, first aid kit, flashlight, extra batteries, blankets and/or sleeping bags, extra clothing, candles, water‑proof matches, high calorie packaged food for quick energy and an empty can to melt snow for drinking. 

The best way to prevent treacherous winter travel is to avoid it. This can be done by staying informed about the current weather and road conditions as well as the latest weather forecasts. All of CDOT’s real time travel info resources can be found at http://goi70.com/real-time-road-info/  so Know Before you Go.

If you should become stranded during a winter storm, stay with your vehicle and do not panic. If accompanied by others, take turns sleeping. Run the motor every hour for about ten minutes to maintain warmth, but keep windows open a little to prevent the buildup of carbon monoxide. Make sure the exhaust pipe is not blocked. Keep the car visible with brightly colored cloths tied to the side view mirrors, door handles, or external antenna. Exercise periodically by vigorously moving arms, legs, toes and fingers. 

Roads which appear to be clear in the wintertime may actually be coated with a thin layer of ice, commonly known as black ice.   This nearly invisible ice layer can cause you to rapidly lose control of your vehicle. Black ice is most common during the nighttime hours. If you detect black ice, you should reduce your speed. 


Weekend traffic on I-70 is unlikely for the next several weeks and weekend weather is expected to be dry.  Here is what you might expect this weekend:

Friday WB:  No congestion-related delays are anticipated.

Saturday WB:  Travel could be slow from late morning to early afternoon around the Twin Tunnel Project.

Saturday EB: No congestion-related delays are anticipated.

Sunday EB: No congestion-related delays are anticipated. 

*The GoI70.com Travel Forecast is based on historical data, along with an estimation of how weather, construction, public events and other factors might impact travel.