City Cast

Tips for Winter Driving in Denver

Peyton Garcia
Peyton Garcia
Posted on November 8
Snowy morning traffic near the corner of 7th Avenue and Lincoln Street.

Snowy morning traffic near the corner of 7th Avenue and Lincoln Street. (Hyoung Chang / The Denver Post / Getty Images)

We’re looking at a chance of snow tonight through tomorrow morning. Whether you’re new to winter in the Mile High, or you’ve been putting snow chains on your tires all your life, everyone could benefit from a reminder on how to safely navigate Colorado’s icy November roads.

Winterize Your Car

  • Before bad weather really sets in, give your car a preventative once-over — check your battery health, lights, brakes, wipers, windshield fluid, and tire pressure.
  • Invest in the right tires — either snow / all-season wheels, or get some snow chains for your tires.
  • Check the tread on your tires. AAA spokesperson Skyler McKinley recommends the quarter test: Put a quarter into the tread of your tire and look for George Washington’s head. If you can see any part of the top of his head, you don’t have enough tread, and you should replace those tires.

Be Prepared

  • Keep your gas tank at least half full to decrease the risk of getting stranded in bad weather.
  • Consider keeping an emergency kit in your car in the event you are stranded.
  • Know your route — look at a map before you start driving to avoid having the extra distraction of your GPS or getting lost.

Drive Defensively

  • Maintain steady speeds and keep extra space between yourself and other cars — no matter what type of vehicle you have.
  • Be extra careful on bridges and underpasses, which tend to be the slickest.
  • Remove all snow and ice from your windows, hood, and roof before you drive.
  • If you begin to skid, let off the accelerator and brake, then turn your steering wheel in the direction you want to go.

But really, this advice from a Denver reddit user sums it up nicely: Drive like you have your grandma in the front seat with a hot pot of chili on her lap.

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