Avoiding an Accident: Having the Right Tires Can Help
For drivers in Colorado, who are used to the state’s wicked winter roads, getting seasonal tire changes is pretty standard. When the leaves start to fall and the temperatures drop, drivers know it’s time to consider getting winter tires with thicker treads and more capabilities for handling snowy, icy roads. But not all tires are created equally, and not every so-called winter tire fits in with Colorado’s winter tire requirements that many drivers may not know about.
Colorado Codes 15 and 16 for Severe Weather
In severe winter weather, Colorado’s Department of Transportation can issue a Code 15 or Code 16 to alert drivers to potentially poor driving conditions and ensure that all drivers are properly equipped for the weather. Colorado’s Code 15 traction law states that, when active, motorists are required to have snow tires, tires with mud and snow designation or four-wheel/all-wheel drive. All tires must have a minimum of one-eighth inch treads. If a driver’s tires do not meet these criteria, chains or alternative traction devices can be utilized to be in compliance.
Under Code 16, every car on the road is required to have chains or alternative traction devices in use. This is called the Passenger Vehicle Chain Law, which is implemented whenever Colorado experiences severe winter storms. A Code 16 is the final resort before the Department of Transportation closes the highways.
Be Sure to Find the Right Set
Codes 15 and 16 are intended to keep drivers as safe as possible when they’re on the roads in bad weather. Snow, sleet, ice and heavy rains can create slippery spots where drivers have trouble getting traction and could easily spin out of control or slide across roads. The potential for collision is extremely high whenever winter storms create poor driving conditions, and any loss of vehicle control can cause a major accident.
All-weather tires may not be compliant with Code 15 or 16. Look for M/S imprinted on the sidewall, along with a mountain or a snowflake. Tires with these markings are considered full snow tires and meet the requirements of Code 15.
Bad Tires Could Cost You
Any drivers who have inadequate tires during a Code 15 or Code 16 could face fines in excess of $130. If a driver with improper tires blocks the roads or causes an impediment, he or she could be fined more than $650. Additionally, damages to the vehicle or other persons in the event of an accident can lead to even more expenses and possibly even charges.
Winter weather-related accidents are a leading cause of injury and fatalities throughout the state, and it’s important for drivers to take steps to reduce the risk as much as possible. Changing out your tires puts you in compliance with the state’s laws and requirements, but it also helps to cut down on poor traction issues that could cause a collision.
For more information on Colorado’s requirements and liability laws related to car accidents, contact a Denver injury lawyer at Levine Law today. We represent anyone who has been injured as a result of someone else’s negligent driving or behavior