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Tips for Snow and Ice Driving in Colorado and in the Mountains

Tips for Snow and Ice Driving in Colorado and in the Mountains

Motor vehicle accidents are a leading cause of death on Colorado’s roads, especially where driving in the winter poses extra challenges. Mountain passes are stunning, but winter in the region can make these otherwise beautiful roads treacherous. Below, the legal professionals at Bell & Pollock review four tips for avoiding motor vehicle accidents in the snow and ice, including what to do if the unthinkable happens.

Tip #1: Drive Slower Than Normal

Safely navigating snow or ice-lined roads requires much slower speeds than usual. Slow down, and do not accelerate too quickly. The vehicle could easily lose traction on slushy or icy roads, leading to motor vehicle accidents and injury. It is also wise to leave a healthy stopping distance between vehicles; accidents happen quickly, as wheels slip with sudden braking or in stop-and-go traffic.

Tip #2: Manage Tire Pressure

Each car has a recommended tire pressure that makes them safer to drive on in all conditions. Tires often lose pressure in the winter when the temperature drops, and it is vital to monitor these levels before hitting the road. Check the tire pressure by heading to a gas station and pumping them up if the level is too low (indicated in the vehicle’s owners’ manual).Low tire pressure is dangerous on icy roads. It can lead to a flat tire, blowout, or devastating motor vehicle accidents that put the driver at risk for personal liability due to negligence.

Tip #3: Avoid Overconfidence in Four-Wheel Drive (4WD)

Countless drivers in Colorado purchase vehicles with 4WD or all-wheel drive (AWD) capabilities. These vehicles operate better in icy or snowy conditions, but it is still necessary to exercise caution to be able to safely use the car all winter long. The robust wheels provide greater control when accelerating or stopping, but it has limits. Drivers with 4WD and AWD vehicles still end up in fatal crashes every year, especially when taking turns too fast or misjudging the iciness of the road. Be aware; even with the power of 4WD at your disposal, an auto accident can occur due to the actions of other drivers who may operate their vehicles in a dangerous way.

Tip #4: Check for Anti-Lock Brakes (ABS)

Many modern vehicles offer anti-lock brakes (ABS). These brakes feel slightly different if you hit them hard to stop in an emergency. It might feel like “pulsing” under the foot, a surprise for vehicle owners the first time they feel it. If the car does have ABS, take it out for a practice run before driving in traffic. Consider going to an empty parking lot in icy conditions, pumping the brakes a few times to develop a feel for it. Many motor vehicle crash deaths happen during the winter, and practicing safe driving can help you navigate the roads with the necessary caution.

Now a Word from Bradley Pollock

A quick glance at the forecast over the next few weeks tells us that winter may finally be coming this year—and while this may be exciting for the skiers and snowboarders among us, it also serves as a reminder that it is time for Coloradoans to “winterize” our vehicles and be prepared to deal with the snowy, icy, and slushy driving conditions that are sure to come.

Everyone knows that driving in the winter can be challenging. This is especially true in mountainous areas of Colorado, where steep inclines and tight corners can spell disaster for even the most careful drivers. A recent report from USA Today indicated that Colorado is among the ten deadliest states for wintertime car accidents. Nationally, it is estimated that there are nearly 1,500 fatalities per year that are attributable to snowy, slushy, or icy roads. Thousands more are injured and/or see significant property damage.

So, what are some ways for Coloradoans to make sure that this winter driving season is an uneventful one?

One way to minimize risk is to make sure that your vehicle is fully “winterized.” For starters, make sure your tires have enough tread and are properly inflated. You should also check your coolant system and use the right amount of antifreeze to protect your engine. Freezing temperatures can also weaken your car battery, so make sure to have that checked by a trusted mechanic as well. And lastly, make sure your windshield wipers are in good shape and that you’re using a “no-freeze” washer fluid.

Of course, the most important tip is simply to drive carefully, slow down, and be aware of your surroundings. It’s also a good idea to leave two or three car-lengths between yourself and the driver in front of you. That being said, even the best drivers can’t always control what happens on the road.

If you have questions about these issues, simply contact the skilled motor vehicle accident lawyers at Bell & Pollock, P.C. for a free, no-obligation consultation to find out more about how we can help you. We are here to help you get justice, and we know how to devise the right Legal Game Plans™ to get victims full, fair compensation so they can recover and move on with their lives.™

To Learn Even More . . .

Visit our website to listen to the show on this subject and all of our other radio shows on various legal topics.

If you have any questions about the topics discussed in today’s newsletter, or questions on other legal issues, give our office a call and one of our attorneys would be happy to talk with you.

More Information

Get more information about your rights and options following an accident by checking out one of our helpful BOOKS: THEY ARE FREE.

  • Don’t Get Hurt Twice in the Same Accident – This enlightening guide dispels some of the most common (and harmful) myths about car crashes, insurance companies, attorneys, and financial recoveries.
  • The Essential Guide to Car Insurance in Colorado – This guide helps all drivers better understand car insurance. If you’ve ever had a question about a claim, dispute or car insurance in general, this is a must-read.
  • Cowards of the Street: Hit & Run – This book uncovers the facts about hit and runs and how to financially recover from these crashes. It also shares about what you can do to protect yourself before and after a hit and run accident occurs.
  • Colorado’s Workers’ Compensation: The Ultimate Guide – This insightful book reveals everything you need to know in order to protect your rights as a worker – and to position a Colorado workers’ compensation claim for success.
  • Legal Game Plan – This educational book helps you better understand insurance company’s hidden game plan…and come up with one on your own!
  • Motorcycle Accidents (or How to Go Full Throttle Against the Insurance Companies) – This informative read will help motorcyclists come up with a plan of action to combat the insurance agencies. If you ride a motorcycle, you need this book.
  • 18 Mistakes You Could Make to Destroy Your Injury Claim – Found within is a precise guide regarding a trove of detailed mistakes one should avoid when pursuing a successful resolution to ones case. This work helps answer questions and details advice to protect oneself from common pitfalls and perils associated with a compensation claim.
  • Distracted Driving and Your Injury Claim  This comprehensive work assists all drivers in understanding the dangers of distracted driving and its relationship to your injury claim.
  • Premises Liability (Landowner Responsibility and Injury Recovery) – This definitive piece renders the details behind the history of the Premises Liability Law in Colorado and highlights examples of responsibility which further offers a practical guide for injured victims.

Call our office to request copies of our books. THEY ARE FREE. You can also request a copy of any (or all) of these books on our website. You can download a free electronic copy anytime. And be sure to tune in to our weekly radio show to learn more about a variety of legal topics.

A Colorado law firm that puts people first. Your case matters

We’re ready and eager to tackle whatever tough personal injury issue you’re dealing with in Denver and all of Colorado. Your case matters here.


(303) 795-5900


Bell & Pollock, P.C.

7555 E Hampden Ave #200
Denver, CO 80231


(800) 559-5920

Steamboat Springs:

Bell & Pollock, P.C.
505 Anglers Dr #104
Steamboat Springs, CO 80487


(970) 870-8989

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