November 19, 2020

Most of us who have driven in the Colorado mountains do not need a reminder that winter driving is much different than the summer months – and that road conditions are subject to change at moments notice.

Following are some thoughts on how you might modify your driving habits and creating a winter safety kit for your vehicle:

Winter driving tips:

  1. Winterize your car – install winter tires and maintain proper tire pressure. Add winter wiper blades and keep your window washer fluid full
  2. Plan ahead and use traffic cams or mobile alerts to stay abreast of the changing road conditions 
  3. Have a winter safety kit in your car (see below for some suggestions)
  4. Avoid cruise control
  5. Keep your gas tank above one-half full in the event you end up spending more time in your car than anticipated
  6. Slow down and go easy on the brakes
  7. Take your turns wide
  8. Do not idle your car for long periods of time
  9. Try not to stop going up hill – although sometimes this is unavoidable
  10. Use the buddy system and have a passenger with you and be sure to alert someone of the destination and your ETA 

In the event of an emergency: Do not leave your car for risk of losing sight of it. Do not run your car for long periods of time. Instead, turn it on long enough to stay warm, then turn it off again to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning. Turn your dome lights on to help attract attention.

Auto Winter Safety Kit:

  1. Fire extinguisher 
  2. Matches and first aid kit
  3. Flares or reflective triangles and a reflective vest 
  4. Flashlight and extra batteries
  5. Nonperishable food items and drinking water or beverages
  6. Warm clothing (jacket, hat, socks, boots, gloves) and blanket
  7. Jumper cables and properly inflated spare tire and tripod jack
  8. Bag of sand or kitty litter and a shovel 
  9. Small tool kit with multipurpose utility tool and duct tape
  10. Extra antifreeze and windshield washer fluid 
  11. Insulated work gloves for changing a tire, etc in cold conditions 
  12. Cell phone charger