Don’t wait for the first flakes to fall to get your vehicle ready for winter driving. From adequate tires to the right supplies, drive the I-70 mountain corridor in confidence with a well-prepared vehicle.
Colorado’s Traction Law spans from Sept. 1 to May 1, and requires that all motorists have EITHER:
• 4WD or AWD vehicle and 3/16-in. tread depth
• Tires with a mud and snow designation (M+S icon) and 3/16-in. tread depth
• Winter tires (mountain-snowflake icon) and 3/16-in. tread depth
• Tires with an all-weather rating by the manufacturer and 3/16-in. tread depth
• Chains or an approved alternative traction device
Motorists driving with inadequate equipment when a Traction Law or Chain Law is in effect could be fined more than $130. If a motorist blocks the roadway because they have inadequate equipment when a Traction Law or Chain Law is in effect, they could be fined more than $650.
Before you head to the mountains, check that all your vehicle fluids are full (washer fluid, oil, antifreeze and gas) and all systems are operating properly (heater, defroster, lights, exhaust, battery, brakes, wipers). Ensuring that your vehicle is in good working condition can reduce the likelihood of breaking down on your drive and causing major issues for yourself and others.
A well-equipped vehicle should have a sturdy scraper, snow brush or snow shovel, flashlight with extra batteries, blanket, gallon of water, first aid kit, essential medications, jumper cables, flares or reflectors to signal for help, and a battery or crank-powered radio to listen to emergency broadcasts. Additional items may include an extra set of clothes (including coat, hat, mittens, boots, etc.), hand warmers, non-perishable snacks like granola bars, cat litter or sand for traction, and a deck of cards or board game for entertainment. Expect the unexpected and put these items in a bag in your trunk for the duration of winter so you are always ready.
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 the real time travel information resources can be found at https://goi70.com/real-time-radio-info, and check the weekly travel forecast at https://goi70.com/travel.
If You Get Stuck
If you 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.
On The Road
The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) is also taking a number of steps to prepare for the winter months, including stocking ice removal products and making sure snow removal equipment is ready to keep the highways safe for travel.
Prepare your vehicle and equip yourself with the right supplies now to ensure a safe and hassle-free winter driving experience.
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