ALTHOUGH THE WEATHER SO FAR THIS WINTER HAS BEEN MILD, THIS IS COLORADO, AND WE ARE BOUND TO GET OUR FAIR SHARE OF SNOW. MAKE SURE THAT YOU AND YOUR CAR ARE PREPARED FOR WHEN WINTER HITS!

FIRST, YOU NEED TO MAKE SURE THAT YOUR CAR IS READY. THE LAST THING YOU WANT IS TO HAVE SOMETHING HAPPEN TO YOU OR YOUR CAR IN THE MIDDLE OF A BLIZZARD. THE WEATHER IN COLORADO CAN CHANGE IN AN INSTANT, SO NOW IS THE TIME TO MAKE SURE YOUR CAR HAS ALL THE ESSENTIALS IT NEEDS. IN ADDITION TO HAVING SOLID SNOW TIRES, YOU NEED TO HAVE A “WINTER SUPPLY BOX” IN YOUR VEHICLE. WHAT ALL SHOULD YOU INCLUDE IN THIS BOX? HERE IS A QUICK LIST: A FLASHLIGHT, ROAD FLARES, A FIRST-AID KIT, BLANKET (OR TWO!), CHANGE OF WARM CLOTHES, AN EXTRA PAIR OF GLOVES, A BAG OF SAND OR KITTY LITTER (FOR TRACTION), ICE SCRAPER, AND A FEW SNACKS (LIKE TRAIL MIX OR BEEF JERKY).

NOW, YOUR CAR IS GOOD TO GO, AND THAT FIRST BIG WINTER STORM HAS FINALLY HIT. HERE ARE FIVE TIPS TO KEEP IN MIND WHEN YOU ARE OUT ON THE ROAD IN DANGEROUS DRIVING CONDITIONS.

1- SLOW DOWN!

EVERYTHING TAKES LONGER ON SNOW OR ICE COVERED ROADS. WHETHER YOU ARE ACCELERATING OR BRAKING, EXPECT IT TO TAKE TWICE AS LONG AS IT NORMALLY DOES. ON NORMAL DRY PAVEMENT, IT TYPICALLY TAKES THREE TO FOUR SECONDS TO COME TO A STOP. ON SNOW COVERED ROADS IT INCREASES TO EIGHT TO TEN SECONDS.  DON’T TRY TO JUMP OFF THE LINE AT THAT STOPLIGHT EITHER. APPLYING GAS SLOWLY TO ACCELERATE IS THE BEST METHOD TO AVOID SKIDS AND GAIN THE MOST TRACTION.

2-BUT DON’T GO TOO SLOW…

GOING TOO SLOW CAN CAUSE YOUR CAR TO GET STUCK. YOUR CAR NEEDS THE RIGHT AMOUNT OF MOMENTUM TO KEEP GOING THROUGH SNOW.

3- BEWARE OF BRIDGES!

BRIDGES AND OVERPASSES CAN FREEZE SOONER THAN THE REST OF THE ROADS. THEY CAN TEND TO BE VERY SLIPPERY WHEN THE REST OF THE ROADS YOU HAVE BEEN TRAVELING ON MIGHT BE FINE.

4- DON’T OVERCORRECT WHEN YOU DO SLIDE

WHEN YOU DO HIT AN ICY PATCH AND START TO SLIDE, IT MEANS YOU PROBABLY WERE GOING TOO FAST FOR THE CONDITIONS. THE HIGHER THE SPEED, THE HARDER IT IS TO CORRECT YOUR CAR SLIDING. OVERSTEERING IS THE MOST COMMON CAUSE OF ACCIDENTS ON ICY ROADS.

IF YOU DO START TO SLIDE REMEMBER THESE THREE THINGS:

DON’T BRAKE: BRAKING WILL MAKE YOUR SLIDE EVEN WORSE

TURN YOUR WHEELS INTO THE SLIDE: IT MIGHT SEEM LIKE YOU SHOULD TRY TO STRAIGHTEN OUT YOUR CAR, BUT YOU WANT TO TURN YOUR WHEELS INTO THE DIRECTION THE BACK OF YOUR CAR IS SLIDING.

DON’T PANIC: IF YOU PANIC YOU COULD OVERCORRECT AND SEND YOUR CAR INTO AN UNRECOVERABLE SPIN.

5- STAY HOME

IF YOU DON’T HAVE TO GO OUT, DON’T.  IF THE WEATHER IS BAD, STAY OFF THE ROADS AND STAY SAFE!