Understanding the winter road conditions before you even start your journey is a great way to avoid unpleasant surprises!
Not only can winter conditions make your journey slower and more dangerous, but they could also cancel it altogether. It’s not just long trips you need to worry about. Short trips such as school drop-offs, trips to the shop, or just commuting to work can all become a real pain in winter.
Being stranded in your car on the side of the road in winter is the last place you want to be thinking, ‘if only I checked the weather, I wouldn’t be in this situation.’ So, before you head out on the highway during winter, you need to check the road conditions.
The Dangers of Driving in Snowy Road Conditions
Data from the U.S. Department of Transportation highlighted that over 22% of vehicle crashes between 2004 and 2013 occurred during bad road conditions. This included rain, ice, and snow. It’s a well-known fact that weather has a serious impact on vehicle handling and contributes to accidents.
The first step to check road and weather conditions is to call the state line for the transportation department. The state manages plowing and de-icing, so they’ll have the best idea about the road conditions. In Colorado, you need to call 511 to connect with the road conditions hotline, or if you are out of state, call 303-639-1111. This line will give you up-to-date information about the conditions of roads across the state.
Another idea is to check the Colorado Department of Transportation website for further information. You can use their online map to plan a route of your journey and get a full list of any road conditions which may impact you. They even have a COTrip App, which you can download to your smartphone or tablet to make the process easier.
Despite how much experience you have on the road, following safety guidelines is essential. It’s easy to get complacent on the roads, especially when you spend a lot of time on the road. However, it’s not just you that you need to be aware of. It’s also other drivers. Not everyone is as skilled on the road or used to driving in icy, snowy, or rainy conditions. Below are some quick tips for winter driving:
- If there is snow or ice on the road, always avoid using cruise control.
- Ensure that your car is serviced, the tires are good, and you have winter chains or snow tires ready if required.
- If you don’t have to drive, stay home, and avoid unnecessary trips.
- Stay a few miles below the speed limit.
- Give yourself and other drivers more room on the road.
- Ensure that you are well rested and have 100% concentration.
When You Need A Tow or Recovery
There you go! Some great winter driving tips if you’re planning on hitting the roads during winter in Colorado.
If you have been involved in any automotive accident in Eagle County or Summit County, Colorado, or are stranded in winter conditions, Mountain Recovery is only a phone call away at 970-476-1124. We operate 24/7, 365 days a year, to keep you moving and help get your vehicle back on the road. A little bit of snow won’t stop our dedicated recovery experts!