Earlier this week, we covered five tips to help you stay safe while driving in the Rocky Mountains and other areas of Colorado during the winter months. You can check out that first part of our two-part blog by clicking here. Once you’ve read over those helpful tips, check out these next five to round out the list:
Tip #6: Be Safe If You Get Stranded
Although this tip seems like a way we’d conclude this two-part blog series, we wanted to put it front and center due to its importance during the winter months. We’ve all heard horror stories about getting stranded in the snow. This is why many people panic almost immediately upon becoming stranded. Instead of freaking out and abandoning your vehicle, try to remain calm — if you’re on the road, someone else will come along to help you eventually. Here are the steps you should take:
· Tie a colored cloth onto the antenna so that passersby will spot you.
· Grab the water and food that we told you to take in the previous blog.
· Remove snow periodically from the exhaust pipe to prevent carbon monoxide from entering the car.
· Every hour or so, run the engine for 5-10 minutes to keep you warm.
Tip #7: Access the COtrip Website
Last week, we talked about planning ahead for your trip in terms of road and weather conditions. We’re going to take that a step further and tell you to check out the COTrip.org website, which is provided by the Colorado Department of Transportation. This site is filled with indispensable information concerning weather conditions, road closings, and traffic situations. It even allows you to access live traffic cams across the state. And if that wasn’t enough, you can download the CDOT mobile app through your smartphone.
Tip #8: Don’t Use Cruise Control
Many vehicles on the road today are equipped with Cruise Control, which can make both short and long trips much more relaxing and comfortable for drivers. When roads may be wet or icy, however, using this functionality can create a precarious situation. That’s because if your automobile hits a wet or icy patch of road and begins to skid, the Cruise Control will accelerate in an attempt to keep up with the predetermined speed you’ve selected, making the vehicle more difficult to control.
Tip #9: Unclog Your Exhaust Pipe
It is somewhat common for ice or snow to clog up your vehicle’s exhaust pipe during the winter months (which we touched on in the tip about being stranded). If this occurs, then carbon monoxide can back up and leak into the automobile when it’s running, thereby creating a dangerous situation. You can easily fix this issue by clearing the exhaust pipe of any ice or snow each time you’re about to get behind the wheel. This will prevent any safety problems caused by noxious fumes from the tailpipe.
Tip #10: Tackle a Hill the Right Way
Though many vehicles have more than enough power to safely get up a hill, winter conditions can be detrimental to some automobiles. The last thing you want to have happen is for your car or truck to stop while ascending a hill. To prevent that from happening, make sure you have enough inertia on a flat surface leading up to it. Then, once you’re at the top of the hill, slow down for the sake of safety.
The 10 tips compiled in this two-part series will help you stay safe during the winter months. Unfortunately, we know that accidents still happen, so be sure to reach out to the attorneys at Mintz Law Firm if you experience a personal injury. We provide you with a free case evaluation and fight for our clients’ rights.