How to Navigate Safely in the Snowy Mountains

Posted by: admin January 13th, 2020

The mountains in Colorado are beautiful in all kinds of weather, but mountains in the snow have a special kind of majesty. Many visitors come here for the excellent skiing, snowboarding, and snowshoeing destinations in the mountains. However, if you don't know how to drive through snowy mountains, a relaxing and scenic trip can soon turn perilous. Here's what to know about safely navigating mountains in the snow while on your visit to Colorado.

Take Precautions

When driving in the snow, it's vitally important to drive even more carefully than normal. Stopping times will be lengthened, and turning too quickly runs the risk of throwing your car into a tailspin. And whether you're just going on a quick excursion or taking a longer trip, avoiding tailgating is a must. Tailgating puts yourself and other drivers at risk of an accident, especially in more difficult weather. And, because there's always a risk of other drivers losing control of their vehicles, it's more important than ever to drive defensively.

Use the Right Vehicle

Another very important consideration is choosing the right vehicle. After all, nobody wants to be stranded on a remote mountain road in the snow. For these purposes, an all-wheel drive is ideal. At the minimum, you want a car with front-wheel drive capabilities. But, since even AWD vehicles have the potential to get stuck, getting specially designed winter tires is a wise decision, especially if you anticipate having to drive over snowy mountain roads on a regular basis. If winter tires aren't an option, tire chains are a useful alternative. If you haven't had to drive with tire chains in the past, it's a good idea to practice putting them on before you find yourself needing to use them.

Avoid Accelerating and Decelerating Too Quickly

If you're not familiar with driving in ice and snow, you might think that accelerating hard up hills is a logical step. However, it's safest to avoid accelerating too quickly. This is because a rapid change in speed may cause tires to slip, which creates a hazard for both you and other drivers. Slowing down too quickly also isn't a good idea, and definitely avoid stopping on an incline unless it's a true emergency. Depending on road conditions, it may be difficult or impossible to regain speed after stopping when you're driving up a snowy hill.

While driving through snowy mountains can be nerve-wracking, it doesn't have to be. With some knowledge and preparation, you can have a scenic and successful drive through the mountains—even in rough winter weather.