This week, October 20 through October 26 is Colorado Winter Weather Preparedness Week and the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) is encouraging Coloradans to prepare their vehicle for the winter ahead.
“We have already experienced winter weather in many areas across the state and we know it can strike again at any time,” said CDOT Executive Director Don Hunt. “By preparing yourself and your vehicle in advance, we can all make Colorado highways safer for those traveling and maintaining our highways during inclement weather.”
The first step in preparing for winter is ensuring your vehicle is in safe operating condition. Before you leave on a road trip, make sure all of the following are in safe operating condition:
- Windshield Wiper Fluid
- Wiper Blades Antifreeze
- Fuel System and a Full Tank of Gas
- Exhaust System
- Tire Tread
- Battery Brakes
You will also want to make you have an emergency kit in your vehicle in case you are stranded. If you find yourself stranded, stay in your vehicle, turn on your flashers, call for help and wait until it arrives. Your emergency kit should include the following:
- Flares/reflectors to signal for help and warn other motorists
- Sturdy scraper/snow brush/snow shovel to clear snow
- Battery or crank-powered radio to listen to emergency broadcasts
- Flashlight with extra batteries or crank-powered flashlight
- Survival blanket or sleeping bag
- Chemical hand warmers
- Extra set of clothes, including coat, hat, mittens, boots, etc.
- Water for each person and pet in your car
- Food items containing protein such as nuts and energy bars; canned fruit and a portable can opener
- First Aid Kit and essential medications
- Tire chains and tow strap
- Non-clumping kitty litter/sand for traction
- Jumper cables
- Extra cloth or paper towels for cleanup if necessary
- Deck of cards or board game for entertainment
In addition to the emergency kit and vehicle preparedness, it is important for motorists to keep speeds down, and do not use cruise control during inclement weather. Also, please give snow plows room to do their job. Be patient and do not pass on the right.
Motorists are also encouraged to plan ahead when traveling by calling 511 or visiting www.cotrip.org for real-time road information. You can also download CDOT Mobile from your app store or by texting “CDOT” to 25827 or follow us on Twitter or Facebook, @Coloradodot.