CDOT’s newest video series, Winter Driving in the Wild, features Colorado drivers in their “wildest” state

Traffic Safety Pulse News

Ah, yes, as temperatures drop, we begin to see the annual migration of winter enthusiasts, making their weekend trek to the mountains in pursuit of powder. CDOT’s newest video series, Winter Driving in the Wild, is rolling out just as the winter driving season begins. The series features the dos and don’ts of being Winter Wise on Colorado roadways in documentary-style mini movies. CDOT expects that the campaign will serves as a comedic, yet serious, reminder of the dangers that Colorado’s winters can bring.

Some of the topics covered in the series include traction laws, tire safety and the resources for winter driving that are available to anyone traveling in Colorado. The videos will be rolled out on social media and on the Winter Wise website over the next few months to remind drivers about the best practices for driving in the winter.

Updating your tires is arguably the best place to start when preparing for winter. Between October 2020 and April 2021, 262 passenger vehicle crashes were reported, in addition to 91 non-crash emergency responses (mechanical issues, fires, spinouts/slideoffs). Many of these crashes, spinouts and slideoffs were due to poor quality tires. 

Quality tires are not only safe, but they’re also part of the law. Last winter, CDOT activated the Traction Law 166 times on the I-70 mountain corridor. During a Traction Law, all motorists are required to have either:

  • 4WD or AWD vehicle and 3/16” tread depth
  • Tires with a mud and snow designation (M+S icon) and 3/16” tread depth 
  • Winter tires (mountain-snowflake icon) and 3/16” tread depth 
  • Tires with an all-weather rating by the manufacturer and 3/16” tread depth
  • Chains or an approved alternative traction device

In a 2020 Colorado Traction Law survey, CDOT found that rental vehicles were the most compliant to the law, at 95% compliance, and out-of-state vehicles were the least, at 86%. The primary reason for non-compliance: insufficient tread. For updated winter driving resources, information, and tips, visit