Winter Travel Safety

Motorists must remember to adjust driving behaviors during winter weather.  Snow, sleet and ice on the road require drivers to be more diligent, attentive, and cautious. Winter weather conditions can turn small mistakes into serious problems. Please keep the following winter safety driving measures in mind.

Prepare before you leave. A well equipped vehicle has:

  • Adequate tires...tire chains...tow rope...sand or cat litter for traction
  • Shovel...tool kit...windshield scraper and brush...and battery cables
  • First aid kit...flashlight...extra batteries...blankets and/or sleeping bags...extra clothing...candles... and water‑proof matches
  • High calorie packaged food for quick energy...and an empty can to melt snow for drinking

Monitor weather conditions before departing:

Monitor road conditions before departing:

  • Colorado Department of Transportation ( or by dialing 511 or toll free 1-877-315-7623.)
  • Utah Department of Transportation ( or via phone at 511 (within Utah) and 866-511-UTAH (out of state))

Drive for the conditions:

  • Slow down
  • Allow extra braking distance
  • Do not tailgate

Allow snowplow operators to do their job:

  • Maintain a safe distance...if salt is hitting your vehicle when following a snowplow, you are too close
  • Avoid passing snowplows on a roadway that is only one lane in each direction

Remain alert for sudden road condition changes:

  • Bridges and overpasses often become icy first
  • Snow and blowing snow can produce sudden restrictions in visibility
  • Roads which appear to be clear in the wintertime may actually be coated with a thin layer of ice, commonly known as black ice
  • Caution is advised when traveling along avalanche prone roads, especially during and shortly after a heavy snowstorm

If you should become stranded:

  • Stay with your vehicle and do not panic
  • Run the motor every hour for about ten minutes to maintain warmth. 
  • Make sure the exhaust pipe is not blocked and keep windows open a little to prevent the buildup of carbon monoxide
  • Take turns sleeping
  • Keep the car visible
  • Exercise periodically by vigorously moving arms, legs, toes and fingers



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