Winter is coming. This isn’t just another GOT reference, winter is coming just like it does every year. And you know what that means: lots and lots of snow. While the weather in Colorado can be intimidating, you can be prepared for what’s coming and enjoy the season rather than dreading that next storm if you take a few steps now before it gets here.
Safe Driving on Snowy Mountain Roads
Driving in the mountains in the snow is not the same as winter lowland driving. While you will do some things differently, others require a bit more finesse:
- Keep it Slow: Rapid acceleration or deceleration can cause you to lose control.
- Turn Off Autonomous Driving Features: Systems like lane keep assist can be literal lifesavers when the roads are dry, but in ice and snow, they could create a problem.
- Shift Into Low Gear: If your vehicle isn’t an AWD model, shifting into a lower gear (from D to 2) will slow your transmission’s spin, slowing the vehicle without employing the brakes.
- Check Your Tires: As the temperatures and altitude change, so does the pressure in your tires. Make sure they’re inflated to the PSI recommended in your owner’s manual for best traction.
See why it’s important to rotate your tires here.
- Keep the Lights On: If your vehicle doesn’t have daytime running lights, turn your headlamps on so other drivers will be sure to see you.
- Use Brakes Sparingly: As a rule, you should never slam on the brakes – it can send the vehicle into a skid you can’t control. Instead, brake gently and use your transmission to slow you when appropriate.
- Steer into a Skid: If you start to skid out, go with it. Take your foot off the gas and steer into the skid. This will prevent you from flipping when the car gains purchase again.
For more safe driving tips, see my top tips for driving safely on snow and ice post.
- Don’t Stop on Hills: Stopping when going up a slope can make it impossible to get your momentum back and cause you to slide back into other cars.
Prepping for Mountain Driving During the Winter
Before the cold season hits, it’s essential to put together an emergency kit that can get you through the worst of what the season has in store. You can either purchase a kit from or build your own.
Need more safety tips? Check out my posts on Why it’s important to rotate your tires, How to change a flat tire, and don’t forget to check out my Vehicle Preparation For Different Climates — temperature does make a difference in how you treat your vehicle!