Tips for Winter Driving in Colorado Springs
No matter the time of year, driving can be a challenge. But if you live in Colorado Springs, then you know that driving during winter can be even more challenging than usual. Not only do you have to focus on being a defensive driver, but you also have to worry about black ice, heavy winter storms, and freezing temperatures. To help keep you and your family safe on the road this winter, follow these five tips.
Purchase Some Good Snow Tires
Snow tires are crucial in a state like Colorado that experiences heavy snowfall each winter. They use a rubber compound that keeps the tread sticky, even in freezing conditions. Tire technology is frequently updated, so it’s a good idea to invest in some snow tires and then replace them every few years, especially if you live in Colorado Springs.
Avoid Sudden Stops or Lane Changes
Just like you learned in Driver’s Ed, be sure to avoid sudden stops and lane changes all year-round, but especially during winter. It takes about twice as long to come to a complete stop if the road is slippery or icy, so don’t take any chances with the drivers around you. Make sure to use your signal every time you need to change lanes and give yourself and your fellow drivers time to adjust.
Keep Your Vehicle Stocked with Essential Emergency Items
In case of emergency, it’s a good idea to keep your car stocked with essential items throughout winter. Here’s a list of the items you should always have on hand in your car:
- Ice Scraper
- First Aid Kit
- Cell Phone Charger
- Wiper fluid
- Granola bar or other nutritious non-perishable snacks and bottled water
Keep More Distance Between Cars
Since snow and ice make it harder for your car to come to a quick stop, be sure to keep more distance between your car and the cars around you. Be on the lookout for any brake lights ahead of you and ease into your brakes accordingly. The last thing you want to do is slam on your brakes at the last minute and have them lock up on you.
The safest bet is to keep at least twice the distance you normally do between yourself and the car in front of you.
If You Start Skidding, Steer in the Direction Your Car’s Rear End is Traveling
If you do hit a patch of ice, your brakes lock up, or the car in front of you makes an unexpected or sudden move, you’ll most likely start to skid. Don’t panic. Instead of fighting the direction you’re going in, release your brakes, take a deep breath, and turn the steering wheel in the direction your car’s rear end is traveling. This will help you recover control, regain traction, and straighten back out. Then you can gently pump your brakes to prevent further skidding.
Driving a car during winter can be demanding, but it doesn’t need to be scary. If the roads are especially bad or a brutal winter storm is on its way, you should stay off the roads as much as possible. When you have to drive, be sure and follow these five tips to keep you, your passengers, and your fellow drivers as safe as possible this winter.