Colorado residents are pretty good at driving in all kinds of weather. According to the Denver Post, the state has the lowest fatality rate for weather-related road accidents in the nation, standing at just four per one million, which is one-fifth of the national average.
While these numbers sound great, as cold weather settles in, once again you will face the challenges of navigating icy roads and snowy landscapes during the winter season. As you prepare for this, there are five tips you can follow to help you drive safely.
1. Equip your vehicle with winter tires
When temperatures drop, standard tires lose their grip on icy surfaces. Make the switch to winter tires with deep treads designed to bite into the snow and ice. These specialized tires provide enhanced traction, reducing the risk of skidding or sliding, and ultimately improving your overall control on frosty roads.
2. Adjust your driving speed
In wintry conditions, reduce your speed and increase your following distance to allow ample time for braking and maneuvering. Snow-covered roads can be treacherous, and maintaining a moderate speed ensures you have better reaction time, preventing potential accidents.
3. Keep your windshield clear
A clear line of sight is important for safe driving, so regularly check and refill your windshield washer fluid with a winter-grade formula to prevent it from freezing. Invest in quality ice scrapers and defrost your windows thoroughly before hitting the road, because clear visibility is your best defense against unexpected obstacles.
4. Practice gentle braking
Sudden movements on icy roads can lead to a loss of control. When braking, apply gentle and consistent pressure to avoid skidding. If your vehicle has an anti-lock braking system, trust it to do its job. Pumping the brakes is a thing of the past; modern ABS systems excel at preventing wheel lock-up.
5. Prepare a winter emergency kit
For unpredictable weather, preparation is key. Pack a winter emergency kit with items such as a blanket, flashlight, extra batteries, snacks and a first aid kit. In the event of an unexpected delay or emergency, these provisions can provide comfort and safety for you until help arrives.
Winter driving is a challenge, but armed with this knowledge and preparation, you can reach your destination safely and help prevent weather-related accidents on the road.