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Snow is Coming – Time to Hone Your Winter Driving Skills - KOAA.com | Continuous News | Colorado Springs and Pueblo

Snow is Coming – Time to Hone Your Winter Driving Skills

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SUV in Mountain Snow

While the prudent course of action might be to just stay home and avoid driving during or just after a major snowstorm, that’s not always possible. Here are five tips to drive smart and stay safe this winter.

1. Drive during the day with extreme caution. According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, it’s safest to hit the road during daylight hours, when you can see and be seen.

Slow down as conditions worsen, leaving extra room between you and the traffic ahead – your car’s brakes won’t work as well as they would on dry pavement. Keep an eye out for frozen patches, especially on bridges and overpasses which tend to freeze sooner than paved roads.

2. Pull over if the weather gets worse. Should the weather deteriorate further and you encounter blizzard conditions, FEMA suggests safely pulling off the road, turning on the car’s hazard lights and remain in the vehicle where rescuers can find you (unless there’s a building close by where you know you can take shelter). Turn on the inside light at night so work crews or rescuers can see you.

If the storm continues for an extended period run the engine and heater for about 10 minutes each hour to keep warm, but be sure to open a downwind window slightly for ventilation and periodically clear snow from the exhaust pipe to prevent possible carbon monoxide poisoning.

3. Know how to remove your car from snow. If your vehicle becomes stuck in the snow, avoid spinning the tires – you’ll only be digging yourself into a deeper rut. Switch off the car’s traction control (it works against you when there’s zero traction) and “rock” the vehicle gradually back and forth in its lowest gear to get it unstuck.

If that doesn’t work, wedge floor mats or flattened cardboard boxes, or throw some cat litter under the tires for just enough grip to get going. If there’s nothing else handy, try using tree branches. If you can’t get free after several minutes, call a tow truck to avoid causing damage to your car’s transmission and other components.

4. Put on the snow tires and/or chains. And if you’re traveling beyond urban areas, look for signage that indicates the Colorado Department of Transportation has activated a Code 15 Traction Law, which requires all vehicles to have either dedicated snow tires or those with the designation “M&S,” for mud and snow, or four/all-wheel drive.

When conditions turn even more severe, the state will issue a Code 16 Chain Law, which means every vehicle in a given area must have tire chains or an alternative traction device installed.

5. Invest in a new, winter-ready vehicle. Not sure if your old car can handle the weather? Trade in your current vehicle for a true winter warrior like the full-size Chevrolet Tahoe SUV.

Its four-wheel drive comes with low-range gearing that enables the Tahoe to break free from the deepest snow banks and mud ruts. And when the weather again turns fair (and trust us, it will), its 5.3-liter 355-horsepower V8 engine enables a maximum 8,400-pound towing capacity (with four-wheel drive), which is sufficient to tow a sizeable boat or trailer to the lake or campsite.

Before winter hits this year, come into Al Serra Chevrolet North or South or visit online at AlSerraColorado.com to view inventory, get a free estimated trade-in value for your vehicle and find out exactly how much you can save with Al Serra’s price on a new Chevrolet Tahoe SUV.

This article was produced for and sponsored by Al Serra Chevrolet North
and South and Al Serra Volkswagen, Colorado Springs. It is not a product of or affiliated with KOAA News 5.

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    From Our Sponsors While the prudent course of action might be to just stay home and avoid driving during or just after a major snowstorm, that’s not always possible. Here are five tips to drive smart and stay safe this winter. 1. Drive during the day with extreme caution. According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, it’s safest to hit the road during daylight hours, when you can see and be seen. Slow down as conditions worsen, leaving extra room between you...
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