Safe speeds save lives on icy roads

Traffic Safety Pulse News

Colorado is known for its wintry landscapes and unpredictable weather, which can make driving treacherous at times. In a state where too many people speed, the chances of crashing greatly increases when people drive fast in slick winter conditions. CDOT urges all Coloradans to drive cautiously, especially during our frequent winter storms. Check out these quick tips to ensure you and your loved ones stay safe this winter season.

Alt text: A "speed limit 45" sign on the side of a snowy road. Snow-covered pines in the background. Text overlay reads "Speed Limits Save Lives"

Slow down, seriously

When the roads are icy, speeding becomes an even bigger risk. Slick roads and speeding both contribute to an increased stopping distance, so don’t chance it. Your safety and the safety of those around you is more important than the extra seconds you might save by speeding. The speed limit is not a suggestion.

Easy on the brakes

Slamming on your brakes makes things worse on icy roads and can cause a potentially fatal crash. Avoid doing so by traveling at or below the speed limit during winter weather conditions. Brake early and gradually, and ease up on the pedal to stay in control.

Keep your distance

Icy roads mean you need to create more distance between yourself and other vehicles. Your speed, tires and driving skills might align with best practices, but you never know what the car ahead of you might do. AAA Colorado recommends leaving at least three times more space than usual between you and the car in front of you during inclement weather.

Check your tires

When snow or ice is on the road, certain tires are safer because they provide better traction in winter conditions. Consider investing in safety by having a set of winter-appropriate tires so you’re prepared for any conditions Colorado throws at you. CDOT’s guide to approved winter tires has all the information you need to ensure your vehicle's tires are safe — and compliant with the Traction Law.

Steer with care

Sudden or speedy movements can cause your vehicle to slip or slide, creating a dangerous situation for you and those around you. When you need to change lanes or turn, do so steadily with reduced speed. Remember: slow and steady wins the race.

Patience is key during winter conditions. Slow down, buckle up and never drive impaired or distracted. Let’s work together to make Colorado roads a safe place no matter the season.