COLORADO, United States – The Colorado Department of Transportation released an official warning to motorists planning to travel on I-70 this President’s Day weekend, encouraging drivers to be prepared for heavy winter weather.

The warning, sent out as a news release on February 15, points out the increase in traffic through the Eisenhower-Johnson Memorial Tunnels during the month of February. Over a million motorists travel that route throughout the month, and, last February, an average of 38,000 motorists passed through each day.

Winter weather presents unique challenges for even the most experienced Colorado drivers. We encourage all motorists to avoid peak travel times and ensure their vehicles are prepared for the possibility of winter weather. That includes keeping a winterized emergency kit in your vehicle with water, snacks, traction devices, jumper cables, blankets, a first-aid kit and other necessities.” – CDOT Winter Wise communications manager Andrew Hogle

Traffic accidents are most frequent on I-70 throughout the months of February and March. In the last five years, 37% of the total accidents on I-70 during the ski season (defined as between October and April) have occurred throughout the second and third month of the year, with more than 630 crashes occurring during those months since 2018.

We’re still in the thick of the winter season, so it’s important to ensure that your vehicle is prepared for winter travel. Before hitting the road this weekend, make sure you have winter, all-weather, or mud and snow tires with a minimum of three-sixteenths of an inch tread depth. Preparing your vehicle and tires for winter weather is one of the best ways to keep yourself and others safe on Colorado roadways and prevent delays on I-70.” – Andrew Hogle

Between Sept. 1 to May 31, Colorado’s traffic laws do require drivers on the on I-70 between Dotsero and Morrison to have at least three-sixteenths of an inch tread depth on every tire, as well as at least one of the following:

  • 4WD or AWD vehicle
  • Tires with mud and snow designation (M+S icon)
  • Winter tires (mountain snowflake icon)
  • Tires with an all-weather rating by the manufacturer
  • Chains or approved traction device

Related: UDOT Triggers Avalanche During Mitigation Operations in Little Cottonwood Canyon

Image Credit: Colorado Department of Transportation via Facebook

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