Newcomers to Colorado prepare for driving in snow for first time

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DENVER -- Driving in the snow is challenging for anyone. Especially for the thousands of newcomers to Colorado, some of whom will be driving in heavy snow for the first time.

Experts say it starts with tires. Colorado traction laws require drivers to replace worn-out tires for snow driving.

Try the penny test to see if tread is good. Lincoln's head should be partially covered with tread. Also, tires lose pressure more easily in the cold.

"Having proper tread so that depending on what the surface is, you get decent grip and traction in the snow is pretty crucial," said Steve Mancinelli with Mancinelli's Auto Repair.

Batteries should also be checked so drivers don't get stranded. And if coolant is low, turning on the heat will only result in cold air.

If it's snowing and visibility is low, the Colorado State Patrol advises drivers to leave headlights on.

"Anything that can alert somebody ahead of your or behind you that you're there is a good thing to do," Mancinelli said.

And good, functioning windshield wipers are often overlooked.

"(Tuesday's) snow is not the time to find out that you can't see through the windshield," Mancinelli said.

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