Winter can be a great time. Fresh snowfall, cold nights bundled up with hot chocolate, and the holidays create a sense of comfort, warmth (in the cold air) and happiness. Unfortunately, all of that takes a backseat when you have to drive anywhere.
Winter Car Prep
For those who live in Colorado permanently, the season starts earlier than anywhere else (except you Alaska). A great way to start handling the winter months is to have a small survival kit in case of emergencies. A good kit consists of:
- A Snow Shovel
- Ice Scraper
- Salt/Sand/Kitty litter
- High-Calorie Snacks
Drivers in Colorado are required to have snow tires on their cars during the winter months. According to the Passenger Traction Law (code15), a car must have the following:
- Snow tires with a minimum of 1/8” tread
- All-weather tires with mud and snow (M/S) mark with 1/8” of tread
- Four-wheel drive with 1/8” of tread
- Traction devices (chains, autosock, etc.) for two drive tires
If a driver is found to be non-compliant with these regulations, then they are susceptible to fines upwards of $650. The goal of these safety standards is to reduce the number of accidents that happens within the state.
Give Space and Watch Your Speed
If there is snow and ice on the road, your best bet is to slow down. This is always the case. When you reduce your speed, you also increase the space between your car and the vehicle in front (this should also apply to the person behind you). Having a good distance between cars allows traffic to flow smoothly. If other drivers need to switch lanes, this gives them the opportunity to get off/on the highway as well.
If You Get Stuck in the Winter
It happens. Everyone will get stuck at some point in their driving career. It’s a lesson that we all learn. The best thing to do is stay in your car and wait for help to arrive. The car keeps you safe in case anyone else slides into you. It’s also warm. It is imperative that you also make sure that your tailpipe is not obstructed. Carbon monoxide poisoning is silent and lethal, you may not know its actually happening until its too late. Although it may be cold, simply crack a window slightly.