Spring is coming soon, but winter weather sticks around a little longer in the mountains of Colorado. You want to be safe while travelling, whether it’s a quick trip to another town or a longer road trip across the state. Here’s some winter travel tips to keep in mind.
You never know what the roads might be like in winter. And you never know what might happen. A road closure could cause you to be stuck on a highway or interstate for hours. A sudden change of weather can make conditions for driving dangerous. You’re going to want to have some supplies ready just in case.
Keep a coat in your car along with some blankets and other winter gear. Changing a flat tire in the cold of winter or in a snowstorm can be pretty brutal if you don’t have warm clothes. It’s also good to keep warm clothes in the car along with blankets and other item in case you are stranded somewhere. Also be sure and keep other items like a compact snow shovel, jumper cables, and tow rope in your vehicle in case of emergencies. Throw a flashlight and some nutrition bars in your car as well.
Make sure your car is winter ready
Before you head out, be sure and fill your car up. It’s always best to have a full tank of gas when travelling in winter weather. Make sure everything in your car is in good working order. Be sure the windows are clear and the defrosting works. And you are definitely going to want good tires.
Check the road conditions
Apps like Colorado Roads from the Colorado Department of Transportation make it easy to check road conditions. You can check warning and road closures. Real time views from cameras are also available. You’re going to not only check current road conditions, but you’ll also want to check the weather. Weather in the mountains of Colorado can be unpredictable and it can change without warning. Check the forecast before you head out, and if possible, do more of your travelling in the mornings when the weather is less likely to be as bad. Afternoons are more likely to bring storms.
Practice safe driving techniques
During inclement weather or when the road is snowy or icy, you are going to want to reduce your speed by up to 50% or more, depending on the road conditions. You will also want to give yourself a lot more distance between you and the vehicle in front of you. If you have four wheel drive, it may help with traction, but it definitely won’t help you stop faster on slick winter roads. Also, be sure to watch the drivers not only in front of you but also to the side and behind you.
Know when to stay home
Sometimes the road conditions are so dangerous that no one should be on the roads. There may be extensive road closures due to whiteout conditions, blizzards, excessive snow, and major accidents. During times like this, it is best to just stay home and take a snow day. It isn’t worth the risk trying to travel in dangerous weather.
If you do become stranded…
If you do become stranded somewhere on the road, it’s good to be prepared. That’s why it is suggested that you keep a bunch of supplies with you, just in case. Do not leave your car, your car is much easier to spot and it will keep you warm. If you’re not sure how long your gas will last, keep your car closed to keep the heat in and run your car every 10 minutes or so to warm up.
Stay safe on the roads out there! If you need dent repair, window tinting, or other services, be sure and contact us!