Winter driving safety

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Brooke Wise
  • Peterson-Schriever Garrison Public Affairs

Colorado’s winter weather can be unpredictable, making it difficult to estimate driving conditions. It is important that Airmen and Guardians stay prepared for all road conditions and understand proper winter driving safety.

The Colorado Department of Transportation reported that 59% of crashes in Colorado occur when snow, sleet or hail is present. CDOT data shows that winter weather causes up to 500,000 crashes every year.

While commuting during winter months, Airmen and Guardians should have an emergency kit in their vehicles in case they are stranded due to adverse weather conditions. The kit should include a flashlight, jumper cables, sand or kitty litter, a shovel, an ice scraper, tire chains, a tow strap, waterproof matches, a first aid kit, warning devices such as flares, a blanket, food, water, needed medication, a phone and a charger.

Additionally, one of the best ways to prevent an emergency situation is to keep vehicles in safe operating condition. You can do this by ensuring vehicle fluids are at proper levels and checking important items like the windshield wipers, heater and lights.

Lastly, drive for the conditions. Do not drive faster than what you can see ahead, since that is the cause of most crashes. Remember that during winter storms, or when conditions require, the CDOT will implement the Passenger Vehicle Traction Law. This requires having a minimum tread depth of 3/16” for tires on all vehicles.