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Colorado Winter Driving: Tips for Traveling Safely

If you’ve never lived in Colorado, it’s easy to get the wrong idea about the winter weather. First things first: It’s Colorado, people! Not North Dakota, Minnesota, or Antarctica! That’s not to say Colorado doesn’t have its fair share of challenging cold weather along the Front Range Urban Corridor. It does, and Coloradans are proud!

Colorado Winter Weather

Average annual snowfall in Colorado Springs is approximately 39 inches, and in Denver, it’s somewhat more intimidating at 56.3 inches. But residents typically enjoy more than 240 sunny days every year in this lovely state.

Snowstorms aren’t the norm. Though when the snow dumps, it’s impressive. The important thing to understand is that it’s not around all winter. When you talk about climate conditions in Colorado, the philosophy is, “If you don’t like the weather, just wait a minute.” (Some folks use “blizzard/schlizzard,” but that’s not quite as catchy.)

What all this means is that driving here is uneventful most days. But when nasty weather hits, you have to be ready! It’s sort of like the old military motto, “hurry up and wait”. But if you follow the Boy Scout creed of preparedness, you should do just fine.

Drive Prep

Colorado meteorologists truly love to warn Coloradans of upcoming snowstorms and icy havoc. Seriously. They really love it. So, you usually have plenty of warning. You’ll also have plenty of false scares. It’s the nature of the beast.

Colorado winter driving requires some essentials:

— Functioning heater and defrost
— Snow tires
— Ice scraper
— Cold weather gear: Gloves, Coat, Hat, and Blanket
— Flares
— Sand/traction mats

These are the basics. Other items, like snow chains, a first aid kid, nonperishable food, a sleeping bag, and a shovel can’t hurt. But these are usually items more necessary if you plan to do some real winter mountain driving.  That’s probably not the greatest idea for a novice. Just saying.

Drive Time

Finally, what you’ve been waiting for. What do you do when you’re sliding around on the icy, snowy Colorado roads to prevent accidents and injury? Well first, don’t slide around. Here are some tips and tricks to keep you safe:

1. Slow down! Seriously. This cannot be stressed enough.

2. When braking, use steady pressure for anti-lock brakes and pumping for standard brakes. Whatever happens, do not slam on your brakes.

3. Black ice is real. Just because you can’t see it, doesn’t mean it isn’t there. Use caution. (See 1 and 2.)

4. Heed warning signs, such as “Watch for ICE on Bridge.” They didn’t have a sale on these signs. If they’re there, they mean it.

5. Use your low beams. Your brights reflect off the snow, making it impossible to see. Safe driving requires sight – in any weather!

6. Slow down. Yes, I’m telling you again. That’s truly how important that tip is. Because if you really want to go faster, it might just be in an ambulance.

Okay, so now you have the tips to take on winter driving in a car. But, do you think you can manage it all in a big rig? The right training makes all the difference. If you want to become a professional truck driver that has the right skills to take on all different kinds of weather conditions, then our truck driver training courses are the way to begin your career in the trucking industry!

Give us a call! Lets talk about enrollment and registration requirements.
In Denver: 1-800-727-7364, or Colorado Springs: 1-800-666-7364