Safety Tips for Driving on Mountain Roads in the Winter
Having easy access to the Rocky Mountains is one of the main reasons why many people choose to call Denver home. Denver’s proximity to the mountains also makes it a prime destination for travelers from all over the world. But, as winter approaches, driving in the mountains can become dangerous, and even the most-capable vehicles might not be capable of overcoming what the weather has in store. With this in mind, here are five safety tips for driving in the mountains this winter from our Denver accident lawyers:
Safety Tip #1: Prepare Your Vehicle
Before setting out into the snow or on a day when the weather has the potential to turn while you are out, make sure your vehicle is up to the task. Consider a service if your car, truck or SUV hasn’t been in the shop recently, and make sure you have emergency supplies just in case you get stuck on the side of the road. Read our Winter Weather Driving Preparation Tips to learn more.
Safety Tip #2: Check the Weather
In the winter, it is always a good idea to check the weather before you set off into the mountains. Check the entire hourly forecast for your trip out, your time in the mountains and your return home. Once you get to your destination, it is a good idea to periodically check the forecast for updates as well. The weather can shift quickly; and, if a treacherous drive home suddenly seems likely, you will want to adjust your travel plans accordingly.
Safety Tip #3: Know Your Route
Steep and twisting roads can be particularly dangerous when snow and ice begin to accumulate, and this is much of what you will find in the Rocky Mountains. While you might be comfortable driving in slush on the relatively-flat roads where you live, winter weather driving in the mountains can be an altogether different proposition. So, know what to expect on your route and plan (or adjust) accordingly.
Safety Tip #4: Avoid Distractions
Distracted driving is always dangerous, but the dangers are magnified when your vehicle’s traction is limited. As a result, when driving in winter weather, it is especially important to leave your phone alone. Set your GPS directions and make sure someone knows where you are going before you leave home; and, if you need to look something up or contact someone once you start driving, do so from a safe spot on the side of the road.
Safety Tip #5: Drive Defensively
Finally, driving in snow or ice at elevation is not the time to test your limits. Instead, you should drive defensively at all times. This means maintaining a safe speed (even if that means driving well below the speed limit), leave plenty of space between your vehicle and the one in front of you, and let anyone who seems to be in a hurry pass on your left.
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Levine Law is a team of experienced accident lawyers who represent injured drivers and passengers in insurance claims and litigation. If you have been injured and would like to speak with a lawyer in Denver, please call 303-333-8000 or contact us online for a free consultation.