Denver, CO

Denver, let's have a winter driving refresher

Joshua Douglas
Eastbound 6

Off to a bad start already. 50 car pileup to kick off the season. I don't care if you're a native or a transplant, it looks like we could use a quick refresher on winter driving in Denver.

I can't say that I'm any sort of expert, but I've driven in 20+ winters in Denver without an accident.

  1. Give yourself more time. Leaving 15 minutes early allows you to make safer choices. Add 5 more if you need to clean off your car.
  2. Visibility is not optional. Get a good scraper/brush. Start the car, lower the sun visors, start the defroster. Clean off as much snow as possible, from the entire car, especially the hood and roof. Scrape all windows and make sure your wipers are free of any ice. Make sure all lights, signals, and reflectors are visible.
  3. Tires. Get good all season tires, or even better, a set of winter tires. Studded tires are unbeatable, but less beneficial in recent years. I know tires aren't cheap, but neither are car crashes.
  4. Be predictable. You want everyone around you to know what you are doing at all times. Signal early, change lanes slowly, if you cannot see the lane lines follow the tire tracks as much as possible. Leave significantly more space than usual and assume everyone else around you is a complete moron that cannot see you. Adjust accordingly.
  5. Beware the sun. Sun glare is no joke and it's absolutely terrifying when it turns your foggy windshield into an opaque wall. The amazing sunshine we have dries the roads quickly after they're plowed. However, shaded sections of road can be a sheet of ice right next to a dry sunny road. Melting snow will also leave wonderful sheets of ice once the sun goes down.
  6. Speed kills. Don't be the person that puts everyone else in danger because of your poor time/risk management skills. Saving 60 seconds of your own time is not worth endangering the lives of others. See #1.

Feel free to add your own words of wisdom. Happy Friday.

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