Most longtime residents in Colorado have a thorough understanding of how to drive in snowy and icy roadway conditions. However, visitors to the area or new residents may not know what to expect. Here, we want to review the main tips for driving in Colorado during snow and ice conditions, which we know are bound to occur each winter season.
It may seem like common sense, but it is crucial for you to keep a safe distance from vehicles in front of you when the roadways are icy or have snow on them. All too often, completely avoidable wintertime accidents occur because individuals follow others too closely. During the winter months, when the roadways are more hazardous, you need to leave more distance than normal between your vehicle and the vehicle in front of you.
We want you to pay attention and practice defensive driving at all times when wintry conditions exist. You need to be able to predict the actions of other drivers so that you can keep yourself and your loved ones safe inside your vehicle. Put all distractions down, focus on the road, and get safely to your destination.
When you have to apply pressure to the brakes, you need to do so gently. If it is cold enough out, and if there is enough snow or ice on the road, a harsh tap on the break could risk you locking your wheels and sending your vehicle into an uncontrollable skid. When you have to come to a stop, gently pump the brakes to allow for a controlled slow-down and avoid locking the wheels.
When you are operating your vehicle in any type of precipitation, you need to use your low beams. Additionally, if the roadway is snowy or icy, use your low beams as well. High beams will reflect off of any precipitation or the snow or ice and could unintentionally blind others on the roadway.
You need to know if your vehicle has good traction before you head out in the snow or ice. Even a vehicle that has four-wheel drive should have tires that are appropriate for this type of winter driving. If you live in an area where snow tires or snow chains are necessary, then you need to know when to use them and how to put them on.
You need to keep your vehicle in good working condition at all times. Mechanical failure can lead to serious accidents on the roadway during the winter months. Make sure your tires are ready to go before the weather gets cold. We also want you to check your headlights, turn signals, emergency hazard lights, and brake lights to make sure they all work appropriately.
You should use antifreeze inside your coolant system to keep it from locking up when the temperature drops. Make sure your brakes are in good working order.
You should plan for the worst-case scenario – a breakdown when the snow is falling and when no one can come help you right away. In your vehicle, we encourage you to keep a flashlight, jumper cables, blankets, a few sets of warm clothing, salt or kitty litter for traction purposes, a first aid kit, flares, and an ice-scraper. Keep some non-perishable food and some bottles of water inside your vehicle. We also encourage the use of portable chargers that already have a charge on them so you can keep your cell phone powered up.
Contact our Denver car accident lawyers today.