SILVERTHORNE, Colo. (KDVR) — Navigating to and from the mountains became a tough situation for many who got stuck on Interstate 70 for hours Wednesday.

From lunchtime through dinner time, the Colorado Department of Transportation and FOX31’s cameras captured a series of standstills on I-70 as snow rolled through mountains into the Eastern Plains.

Colorado State Patrol said the traffic nightmare for many was caused by a few drivers who were ill-equipped for any winter weather on the interstate.

“It doesn’t take a lot of snow, just cold weather and some moisture and we can get those slick roads and what we’re seeing is vehicles that don’t have the proper equipment,” CSP Master Trooper Gary Cutler said. “It comes down to commercial vehicles not having chains when they need them and they’re getting stuck in the roadways and other people that either don’t have the all-wheel or four-wheel drive and they’re also not using their chains.”

CDOT said crews were out in force plowing the mountain corridor and applying deicer. Officials suggest the following tips for drivers:

  • Motorists must be prepared for winter driving in the mountains.
  • They must have winter-appropriate tires for the weather with good tread depth of at least three-sixteenths of an inch.
  • They should have an emergency kit in their car including extra batteries, a flashlight, food, water and blankets.
  • Commercial vehicles (tractor-trailers) must be chained up. Tractor-trailers with no chains on their tires are having slide-outs.
  • Even with the plowing and the treatment, roads will be slick – thus why it is so critical for motorists to take their time, leave plenty of following distance and for tractor-trailers to chain up.