Colorado Snowy Weather Driving Tips

The first snowfall expected to produce accumulation is about a month early this year!  We are forecasted to receive 2-3 inches of snow this Sunday, October 14th, so we’d like to take this opportunity to remind our friends and neighbors of some Winter Driving Tips[1] to keep you and your family members safe out on those snowy and wet roads. 

Safe Travel Around Snow Plows

  • Don’t crowd the plow.  Snowplows plow far and wide, sometimes very wide.  The front plow extends several feet in front of the truck and may cross the centerline and shoulder during plowing operations.
  • Don’t tailgate or stop too close behind snowplows.  Snow plows are usually spreading deicing materials from the back of the truck and may need to stop or take evasive action to avoid obstructions or stranded vehicles.  If you find yourself behind a snow plow, stay behind it or use extreme caution when passing.  The road behind a snowplow will be safer to drive on.
  • Remember, a snowplow operator’s field of vision is restricted.  You may see them but they may not see you.

    Reduce Speed

  • Slow down for wet, snowy, or icy conditions; when visibility is poor, or when conditions are changing or unpredictable.
  • Avoid excessive action while steering, braking or accelerating to lesson the chances of losing control of the vehicle.
  • Slow down when approaching intersections, off-ramps, bridges or shady spots.  These are all candidates for developing black ice – a thin coating of clear ice that can form on the pavement surface that may be difficult to see.
  • Drivers should allow additional room between your vehicle and others.  Winter road conditions often result in longer stopping distances.
  • Don’t take chances when pulling out in front of approaching vehicles.  Remember, they may not be able to slow down and you may not be able to accelerate as quickly as on dry pavement.
  • Avoid using cruise control in winter driving conditions.  You need to be in control of when your vehicle accelerates based on road conditions – don’t let the cruise control make a bad decision for you.
  • Remember, speed limits are established for ideal conditions not winter weather. Ice and snow, take it slow!

    Driving Maneuvers

  • Stopping on snow and ice without skidding requires extra time and distance.  If you have anti-lock brakes, press the pedal down firmly and hold it.  If you don’t have anti-lock brakes, gently pump the pedal.  Either way, give yourself plenty of room to stop. Never slam on the brakes.
  • Remember, even if you drive an SUV with four-wheel drive, you may not be able to stop any faster, or maintain control any better, once you lose traction.  Four-wheel drive may get you going faster, but it won’t help you stop sooner.
  • When you’re driving on snow, accelerate gradually.
  • When you’re driving on snow, ice or wet roads, avoid abrupt steering maneuvers.
  • When you’re driving on snow, ice or wet roads, merge slowly, since sudden movements can cause your vehicle to slide.
  • Look farther ahead in traffic that you normally do.  Actions by other vehicles will alert you to problems more quickly, and give you that split-second of extra time to react safely.

By following these guidelines and allowing for extra travel time, you reduce the likelihood that you’ll cause an accident.  Unfortunately, not everyone will follow these precautions and if you or a family member are hurt because someone else was driving unsafely on snowy or icy roads in Colorado, call or text the Colorado Springs Injury Attorneys at Rosenbaum & Wootton, P.C. at 719.634.0102 or click on this link to schedule your FREE INITIAL CONSULTATION.

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