MORRISON, Colo. — With several feet of fresh snow being forecast for the mountains the rest of the week, the Problem Solvers wanted to share some helpful driving tips for newcomers to Colorado.
“Colorado’s roads in the High Country in wintertime are a season all of their own,” said Skyler McKinley, a spokesman for AAA Colorado.
Some of the best tips for people who aren’t used to driving in Colorado’s High Country are actually simple reminders.
For instance, make sure your windshield wiper fluid is full and you have a full tank of gas in your vehicle.
"When you’re traveling in the High Country, the E gauge on your car doesn’t mean, 'empty.' In fact, the half mark means empty. The reason I say that is you want to always make sure you have enough gas to get out of a jam,” McKinley said. "On the cheaper side of things, you want to make sure this time of year you’re running new wipers that are specifically engineered for winter."
Next tip: don’t drive like you’re in a car commercial. According to McKinley, plenty of people see vehicle ads showcasing large trucks and SUVs ripping through Colorado’s mountains and think they can do the same.
"In those ads you have people making quick movements at high speeds without regard for what’s around them. That makes for a good commercial, but it makes for really dangerous driving,” he said. "If you drive like that on those roads, you’re probably going to get stuck."
McKinley also recommends drivers keep several seconds of following distance behind the car in front of them.
"In wintry conditions, especially in the High Country, that should be between 8 and 12 [seconds],” he said.
In 2019, AAA received just under 6,000 winter-related calls in the High Country. The top five areas included: Silverthorne, Breckenridge, Avon/Vail, Steamboat Springs and Aspen.
Mountain communities could see 1’-3’ of snow between Wednesday night and Saturday morning.