5 Tips for Winter Driving

Colorado’s weather can change in an instant. On your way to Crested Butte this winter be sure to be updated on road conditions by checking in with Colorado’s Department of Transportation before and during your travels. Whether you’re used to driving in snowy conditions or not, it’s always good to have a refresher on a few winter driving tips. Make sure you’re prepared with our 5 winter driving tips: 

Safe Tires

(Photos/Neil Beltchenko)

All-Season tires aren’t best for every season, especially winter in Colorado. Consider investing in winter tires  or at the least be on top of your tire pressure (3-5 psi higher for winter tires are recommended) and be sure your tires have a healthy tread on them.

How to know if it’s time for new tires? It’s as simple as 25 cents. Use the Quarter Test to see if it’s time.

  Insert a quarter into the tire tread upside down, with Washington’s head going in first.
  If the top of his head is covered by the tread, your tires are okay and good to go — do this test at multiple points around each tire.
  If the top of his head is visible at any point around the tire, your tires won’t meet the Colorado Traction Law minimum, and new tires are in your future and soon for us too.


This is Colorado, if you’re driving you’re bound to run into at least one snowplow, even if it’s not snowing, on the roads. There is a rule here: Bow to the Plow. Snowplows blindspots are greater than your’s. Pass on the left, don’t tailgate, and be smart.

Lead Foot = NO NO

Don’t forget even if you have first-rate traction that doesn’t mean you can speed on icy and snowy roads. There are more than one factors out there. Be sure to not use cruise control this winter and check your brakes often. Depending on the tire you run, your stopping distance varies. Check out CDOT’s tire stopping diagram to see where you line up.

Traction & Chain Laws

If storm conditions require, CDOT can implement Passenger Vehicle Traction and Chain Laws. Motorists will be notified via signage along the roadway. There are variations of these laws which can require snow tires and/or chains. If not obeyed fines will be assessed. These laws are that last course of action before roadways are closed completely

Keep a Stocked Car

Who doesn’t like candy on a road trip? Be sure to keep a survival kit in your car throughout the winter seasons. Blankets, snacks, water bottles, phone chargers, jumper cables, and whatever else seems necessary for your party.

Be safe this winter and remember to drive carefully. For more tips and information check with CDOT.