Mountain Driving - Tips for Snow, Ice and Curves

Here are some tips from AAA of Colorado, "Rocky Mountain Motorist" and experienced mountain drivers.

Snow, ice, curves and steep grades all make driving in the mountains a challenge. Especially in winter.

  1. Snow tires are a must in the winter months in the mountains of Colorado.

  2. Don't put all of your faith in that new 4-wheel drive vehicle. It is only as good as the driver and is virtually worthless on ice.

  3. Go slow, especially downhill and around curves. (Please note: many mountain old timers go slower than newcomers.) Maybe they know something you don't.

  4. Four-wheel drives are a must for deep, wet snow; but, front-wheel drives can be coaxed out of life-threatening skids and slides more easily.

  5. With just a little finesse, front-wheel drives will scoot up and down icy roads; but, if you have to stop, you may need four-wheel drive to get started again. All-wheel drive might be the answer.

  6. Always expect the driver coming toward you to go over the yellow line just before you meet. Prepare accordingly. Experienced mountain drivers are those who almost religiously, hug the right side of the road.

  7. Stay off the main highways on those three-day holiday weekends. If that is not possible, don't get caught heading west on Friday evening or Saturday morning. Don't get caught heading east on Sunday afternoon or anytime on Monday.

  8. When the county stops plowing "until the snow lets up", when the school buses stop running, when you have to turn your economy car into a snow mover just to get to an unplowed road - take the hint---"Snow Day".

  9. Should you ever experience a heart-stopping, this-is-the-end-of-the-road slide on a slick, desolate road, don't stop to think about rules. Turn away from that cliff or the oncoming traffic, step gently on the brakes, pray as hard as you can and promise the powers-that-be ANYTHING!! No guarantees, but heck. It's worth a shot isn't it?