CDOT Urges Drivers to Prepare Vehicles for Winter Weather

February 23, 2015 - Denver Metro/CDOT Region 1 - Drivers urged to check conditions, get snow tires mounted, take it slow.

DENVER— With current models showing another winter storm predicted to arrive on Wednesday in the Denver metro area, ranging from Pueblo and north to the Wyoming border, the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) urges drivers to take time to prepare now.

"CDOT employees worked on a 24-hour daily schedule this past weekend focusing on snow removal, incident management, road operations and communicating roadway conditions to the public," said Shailen Bhatt, CDOT Executive Director. "This commitment to keep the public safe on Colorado roadways will continue as we face yet another winter storm on Wednesday. We ask drivers to do their part: mount snow tires or have at least 1/8 inch tire tread, top off fluids, drive appropriately for conditions and give our plow drivers plenty of room to do their job safely."

CDOT will continue to monitor weather conditions and ready resources in order to battle additional snowstorms that arise. In the meantime, drivers can familiarize themselves with the following winter driving tips to prepare:

  • Log on to CDOT’s Winter Driving web page at: for road conditions winter driving tips and other information; or for I-70 West Mountain Corridor travel, go here:
  • Be sure you have good snow tires. How do you know if you need new snow tires? Insert a quarter into the tire tread upside down, with Washington’s head going in first; if the top of George’s head is covered by the tread, your tires are OK (do this test in multiple points around each tire.) If the top of his head is visible at any point, you need new tires.
  • Always keep the top half of your gas tank full. It can give you better traction and gives you a bigger margin of error if you get stuck and have to keep the engine running periodically to keep warm.
  • If you are stuck in a serious storm do not leave your car. Run the engine periodically and wait for help.
  • Carry blankets, water, a flashlight, a shovel, some nutrition bars or other food for sustenance. Winterize your vehicle's safety kit by including extra blankets, sand to help gain traction in the event you become stuck on ice or snow, jumper cables, an ice scraper and lock deicer.
  • Remember that 4-wheel drive does not mean 4-wheel stop. A 4-wheel drive vehicle will not stop any better in icy conditions, especially if you have inadequate snow tires.
  • Know the chain laws. Chain restrictions in Colorado are most often put into effect for commercial vehicles (semi-trailer trucks) and do not usually affect passenger vehicles.
  • Drive for the conditions. In poor visibility or even whiteout conditions, don't drive faster than you can see ahead. High speeds in poor or no visibility can lead to large chain reaction accidents.
  • In addition to these winter driving tips, CDOT reminds all motorists to respect winter weather, conduct a pre-trip inspection of your vehicle, and leave extra space between your automobile and others on the road (including plow trucks). Of course, alwaysbuckle up!

The public can find winter driving tips online at and the CDOT Mobile app offer the most up-to-date, accurate road conditions and travel information.