A fresh coat of snow on the I-70 corridor caused multiple crashes which shutdown westbound lanes and brought traffic to near standstill in Colorado last night. As winter approaches, now is an appropriate time refresh our memories on how to best handle snow and ice while driving. The video below is a good place to start:
Another super important thing to keep in mind while winter driving is giving snowplows a ton of respect and allowing them ample room to do their jobs. CDOT made an entire series of PSA video on the subject:
Chain laws vary across the country but if you live in a state that requires them while driving in snowy conditions, today might be a good day to confirm you have a set in good working order in your car and maybe do a run through before you have to use them in adverse conditions.
If you’re not familar with colorado’s Passenger Vehicle Traction and Chain laws read this:
If weather conditions require, CDOT can implement Passenger Vehicle Traction and Chain laws. Motorists will be alerted to an active Traction Law or Chain Law by highway signage, COtrip.org or traffic/roadway condition alerts. (Sign up for alerts via text or email.).
Traction Law (Code 15)
During an active Traction Law (also known as a Code 15), motorists must have either snow tires, tires with the mud/snow (M+S) designation, or a four-wheel/all-wheel drive vehicle. All tires must have a minimum one-eighth inch tread. You can also install chains or an alternative traction device (like AutoSock) to be in compliance with the law if your tires aren’t adequate.
- Find out if your tires meet the minimum one-eighth inch tread requirement by taking the Quarter Test.
Passenger Vehicle Chain Law (Code 16)
During severe winter storms, CDOT will implement a Passenger Vehicle Chain Law (also known as a Code 16). This is the final safety measure before the highway is closed.
When the Passenger Vehicle Chain Law is in effect, every vehicle on the roadway must have chains or an alternative traction device (like AutoSock).
- Motorists driving with inadequate equipment when a Passenger Vehicle Traction Law or Chain Law is in effect could be fined more than $130.
- If a motorist blocks the roadway because he/she has inadequate equipment when a Passenger Vehicle Traction Law or Chain Law is in effect, he/she could be fined more than $650.
….stay safe out there, drive for the conditions and use common sense.