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  • Car on Snowy Road in Mountains

    Colorado Winter Driving Checklist

    The Colorado State Patrol recorded 4,388 crashes during winter weather conditions in 2015, the last year for which full seasonal statistics are available; 503 people were injured and 19 died in those accidents.

    Car on Snowy Road in Mountains

    Winter driving in Colorado presents unique challenges.

    While winter weather conditions can be challenging for Colorado drivers, winter is not necessarily the most dangerous season for motorists. The majority of traffic crashes in Colorado actually take place in late summer and early fall, when traditionally lower gas prices and warmer weather lead more people to hit the roads.

    Still, winter driving in Colorado comes with unique challenges. The Denver injury attorneys at The Frickey Law Firm offer the following winter driving checklist to help keep you and your family safe this winter.

    Winter Checklist for Colorado Drivers

    Be prepared for the worst winter has to offer with this checklist. Feel free to download or print a version to share with friends and family, especially young or inexperienced drivers.

    Vehicle Safety

    ◊ Check tires for wear. Place a penny with Abraham Lincoln’s head facing down between the treads; if you can see the top of Lincoln’s head, the tires are not suitable for winter conditions and should be changed.

    Inspecting The Wear Of A Balding Tire Tread Using a Penny

    A closeup of the penny/tread test. If you can see the top of Lincoln’s head, you need new tires.

    ◊ Check the car battery for proper voltage. If you don’t have a volt meter, many auto parts retailers will check your battery for free.

    ◊ Check the cooling system for enough coolant/antifreeze.

    ◊ Keep the gas tank at least half-full at all times to avoid condensation and freezing.

    ◊ Prepare a winter storm kit for each vehicle. Ensure each kit has the following items:

    • Blankets
    • Socks and waterproof gloves
    • Flashlight with extra batteries
    • First-aid kit
    • Windshield scraper
    • Car battery cables
    • Shovel
    • Water
    • Nonperishable snacks
    • Bag of cat litter or sand (for traction)
    • Cell phone adapter

    Driver Safety

    ◊ Always know where you’re headed before you start driving. This includes knowing what route is safest for the trip.

    Snow plow on the road

    By Colorado law, drivers must remain at least 200 feet from the rear of snow plows.

    ◊ Always wear a seat belt; ensure children are secured in a car seat or buckled in.

    ◊ Never talk/text while driving. Always keep your eyes on the road.

    ◊ Don’t use cruise control in winter weather.

    ◊ Slow down. Speed limits are set for ideal driving conditions not winter weather.

    ◊ Leave room for snow plows. By law, drivers must maintain a 200-foot distance from the rear of the plow.

    In addition to following the tips on this checklist, there are other ways to protect yourself and your passengers this winter driving season.

    Download a Driving App

    According to the Department of Motor Vehicles, an average of nine people are killed every day in distracted driving accidents. These fatalities are preventable, and there is now technology designed to combat distracted driving.

    If you have trouble staying off the phone while driving, or if you have a teen driver who doesn’t heed distracted driving warnings, there are smartphone apps available to aid the effort. This is especially helpful during winter months when reaction times are already strained due to adverse weather and road conditions.

    The LifeSaver App

    This app is recommended by the DMV and is compatible with both Android and iOS devices.

    The program runs silent in the background until it detects a driver is on the road. LifeSaver shuts down the phone’s ability to make and receive phone calls and texts while the car is in motion and features tracking technology to tell others when a driver reaches his or her final destination.

    The TrueMotion App

    Want more details about how other family members are behaving behind the wheel?

    TrueMotion is one of the only apps that tracks driving details like speed, whether the driver uses their phone during transport, and real-time location tracking so parents always know where their teen drivers are and how they got there. Also available for both Android and iOS devices.

    If you were hurt or a loved one was killed in an accident caused by a careless driver, please call The Frickey Law Firm at 303-237-7373 or contact us online for a free consultation.

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