Whether you’re a veteran of Colorado’s highways during the winter season, or someone experiencing the icy conditions for the first time, it pays to be prepared. Emergencies on the road can happen to anyone, so having a plan for what to do in the event that you find yourself in one is of great importance.
Before you go:
Have an emergency kit in the event that you get stuck. The things in this kit can both help to get your vehicle out of a rough place and keep you safe while waiting for help to arrive. Having these things in your vehicle at all times can make all of the difference.
Let’s go over some of the basics items
- Sand/kitty litter (This can be put under tires to gain some traction when stuck.)
- Tow rope
- Jumper cables
Check Road Conditions
In Colorado this should be a daily habit. We recommend always being prepared for inclement weather in the mountains. Here are a few ways to stay up to date. The CDOT website or hotline (877-315-7623 or 511 from your cell phone). CDOT travel alerts also provide great information on specific situations that occur on the road. Also I-70 Things stories can provide updates on road conditions and closures from I-70 Things Community Members.
Maybe- just don’t go. Sometimes, no matter how important that ski day or weekend away feels, it's just better to play it safe and stay home.
On the Go:
If you absolutely must go out in bad weather, here are some tips and rules to help you do so as safely as possible.
- You can never go too slow
- Whiteout conditions? Headlights on! Not only so you can see, but so others can see you.
- Increase your following distance. Braking is sometimes not possible, space yourself out far enough so that you have time to steer around cars in the event of a sudden stop.
- If you skid…
- Don’t slam your brakes, and no dramatic movements
- Downshift in order to slow down
In case of emergency:
- Stay in the car, avoid opening windows/doors to let out heat
- Turn on the engine for warmth only intermittently to save gas and avoid carbon dioxide poisoning
- Make sure your exhaust isn’t covered by the snow… Carbon monoxide poisoning can easily happen
- If your car is damaged:
- Do your best to position yourself somewhere where you can be seen, so that you are not hit. Put up cones and keep your lights on.
- Stay in your vehicle, it is safer than on the side of the road and call for help.
Feel free to share this with someone who could use a reminder.
Do your part and create a checklist for yourself. Doing so is a step in the right direction to keeping yourself and the I-70 Things Community safe. Any other tips you’d like to share with us? Feel free to comment them in the comments section below. We’ll update the blog and include them.
Stay safe out there I-70 Things Community!
Thanks for reading!
PS: We’re a small team. So if you’d like to be a guest blog writer and have an interesting topic or a wild I-70 story that you’d like to share please email us at email@example.com. Also if you’re an expert in an applicable industry we’d love to interview you.
*We are not driving instructors. Do not use this as your "driving in the snow exam." Liability is on the driver and please make sure you follow the traction law.