NewsCovering Colorado


Winter in Colorado: What every driver needs to know

Posted at 1:21 PM, Oct 10, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-10 15:21:12-04

Driving in Colorado during the winter months comes with its own set of challenges. Here’s what you need to know about staying safe on our roads.

Everyone should carry a Survival Kit in their car year round, but in Colorado, you need to tailor that for winter driving.

a shovel ( There are small foldable shovels)
windshield scraper
flashlight with extra batteries
battery powered radio
snack food including energy bars
raisins and mini candy bars
matches and small candles
extra hats, socks and mittens
First aid kit with pocket knife
Necessary medications
blankets or sleeping bag
tow chain or rope
road salt, sand, or cat litter for traction
booster cables
emergency flares and reflectors
Cell phone adapter to plug into lighter

Have your car serviced for winter. Coolant needs to be flushed and antifreeze needs to replace it. It’s fine to use a 50/50 mix, but never fill the radiator with straight water in the winter. It freezes.

Proper tires are key to a safe drive in Colorado. Especially in the high country. The majority of the spin-outs and accidents in the high country can be blamed on bad tire tread. So how do you know if your tires need to be replaced? It’s simple and fast. Do the quarter test!

Insert a quarter into your car’s tire tread upside down. You’ll need to do this in more than one place on each tire.
If the top of George Washington’s head is covered, you’re just fine. If the top of George’s head is visible at any point, you need to replace that tire.
In Colorado, your all-season tires may not be enough. If a Traction Law is put into place and you are involved in any kind of issue, from getting stuck to causing an accident, you can be fined anywhere from $130 to $650-dollars depending on the severity of the incident.
While most of the Traction Laws affect the high country, CDOT and the local authorities can call for the Traction Law on any Colorado Highway.