Happy New Year! I just completed a 1500 mile trip, crammed in a cargo van with 9 other people. It just goes to show, some of us will do just about anything to ski Colorado. It took a bit longer to get to our destination because everyone drives the speed limit there (or under the limit). Since they legalized marijuana in Colorado, it is likely that the police aren’t issuing as many speeding tickets. They’re probably writing more tickets for people driving too slowly, or for sitting too long at a stop sign, waiting for it to turn green. We checked the weather report before leaving north Texas to know in advance what the road conditions were going to be like. Now, there’s one job where you can almost always be wrong and still get paid…the Weather Man. I’m starting to think that being a Meteorologist is akin to having an “arts” degree. Road conditions were said to be snowy and icy through the Wolf Creek Pass, so we purchased tire chains along the way. Of course, we never used them. There were signs as we approached the Pass regarding laws requiring tire chains. If you’re from that area, you would already be well versed on these laws. But, as my fellow passengers and I observed, most license plates were out of state. In fact, we saw a few from Florida. I think it’s safe to bet that most visitors (including us) probably have no clue how to drive in winter weather.
Sometimes, when road conditions are that bad, it’s best to just stay home. But, if you paid thousands of dollars for a ski package and the coolest AirBnB cabin house right on the Rio Grande, pushing through the elements to get there will make you risk everything. I mean, I’m not complaining. It’s not as dramatic as Mariah Carey being without hot tea in Times Square on New Years Eve, right? So, here is a list of safety measures to take when traveling in winter road conditions.
• Snow tires help, but if you don’t need them where you reside, then they may be a costly investment.
• Turn on your lights, even in the daytime. Just an extra measure so you will be seen.
• Drive smoothly in the tire tracks of other vehicles. Stay in the right lane.
• Leave extra space around your car, away from other vehicles.
• Carry extra winter clothing and blankets.
• Keep your cell phone charged (I have two cordless chargers that I forgot to bring with me).
• Try to keep your gas tank full. Fueling stations may be far and few between.
• Give someone your route information and keep them updated where you are.
• Keep wipers clean and wiper fluid and antifreeze topped up. Keep a snow scraper handy.
• Keep a snow shovel and a small bag of kitty litter in your trunk (also makes a good Christmas gift).
And, most importantly, be patient and keep your speed at the maximum.
Have a safe and happy new year!
Writer / Comedienne / Artist
How to Drive In Winter Weather – Comedy Defensive Driving