Mountain Driving Safety Tips
For the fifth year in a row, Colorado has set the US tourism record. In 2015 alone, 77.7 million people came to Colorado to see and visit its many attractions. Many of these tourists came during holiday vacation days, including Memorial Day. With this added number of drivers on the road, it is more important than ever this time of year to be alert and careful driving during the day and even more careful at night.
Colorado owes much of its tourism to the Rocky Mountains and surrounding natural beauty perfect for hiking, fishing, skiing, snowboarding, camping, rock climbing, and plenty more. Many Coloradan motorists know that driving in the snow and ice is not something to take lightly. Navigating snowy roadways can be tricky and Colorado weather can get particularly nasty in the late spring and early summer months. Here are a few key tips for driving during the snowy and icy weather in Colorado:
- Always keep your gas tank at least half full. The weight gives your car better traction and gives you a bigger margin of error in case you get stuck and have to keep the engine running periodically to stay warm, take unexpected detours, or drive farther than expected.
- If you get stuck in a serious storm, do not leave your car. Run the engine periodically and wait for help.
- Make sure you have good snow tires. An easy and quick way to check whether you have good snow tires: stick a quarter into the tire tread upside down, with George Washington’s head going in first. If the tread covers the top of Washington’s head, your tires are okay. Repeat this test in different points around each tire. If you can see the top of his head at any point, you might need new tires.
- Keep blankets, water, a flashlight, a shovel, nutrition bars, or other food in your car just in case. Winterize your car’s safety kit by including extra blankets, sand for traction in case you get stuck on ice or snow, jumper cables, and an ice scraper.
- Don’t drive faster than you can see ahead. Driving at high speeds in little-to-no visibility can lead to big chain reaction collisions.
- Be aware that inclement weather calls for all-around cautious driving. That means slowing down, maintain wider following distances from the cars in front of you, turning and changing lanes slower, and braking farther in advance.
By incorporating these habits every time winter comes around, we can keep the roads safe for everyone—tourists and native Coloradans alike.
With these precautions in mind, and with the proper preparations, mountain travel in Colorado should be relatively safe and painless, albeit requiring more wariness than usual. In the event you are in an accident on snowy or icy roads, call the legal team of Bachus & Schanker, LLC. They are experts in the field of personal injury and damage sustained to vehicles in the event of an accident.
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