Travel Center

Winter Driving

Winter Driving Survey

We want to hear about your experience driving on I-70 through the mountains this winter from December 2014 to March 2015. Click here to take the survey.

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Colorado's winter driving conditions can change from sunny to blowing snow within an hour or two. Be prepared at all times, but especially in winter. Know road conditions, know your vehicle, use proper driving techniques for the conditions you find, and have the right emergency gear and equipment along.

Heavy Tow - Quick Clearance Program

CDOT’s Heavy Tow or Quick Clearance winter program provides standby heavy wreckers at strategic locations along I-70, between Floyd Hill and Vail Pass. The program provides benefits that far outweigh the cost. For more information click here.

I-70 West Traffic Management

In order to improve the safety, reliability, and mobility of the I-70 corridor, CDOT plans to employ several strategies to help motorists travel during the winter season. More...

Avalanche Control

Every winter, CDOT regularly monitors and controls 278 of the 522 known avalanche paths in Colorado to help mitigate and prevent avalanches from impacting Colorado highways. More...


Safety Tips

  • Ice and Snow LogoBe sure to carry plenty of windshield wiper fluid as liquid de-icers used to treat the roadways may stick to your windshield
  • Let the snowplow drivers do their jobs by giving them extra room Slow down! Even roads that have been treated with liquid de-icers may be slippery
  • Don’t use cruise control when traveling in winter conditions
  • Be prepared. Have a scraper, snow brush, coat, hat, gloves, blanket, first aid kit, flashlight, tire chains, matches and nonperishable food in your car
  • Make sure your tires have good tread

Winter Tire Tips and Chain Laws for Drivers


Bald or worn tires cannot grip the road and can be extremely hazardous – think of tires as your lifeline in a car; the few square inches of rubber contacting the pavement is all that is between you and potential trouble

  • In one day last winter, CDOT assisted 22 vehicles that spun out and blocked traffic or caused an accident- 19 out of those 22 had bald 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 at multiple points around each tire
  • If the top of his head is visible at any point around the tire, you need new tires


When a Chain Law is in effect for passenger vehicles under 26,000 gross vehicle weight, you must have:

  • Snow tires with minimum 1/8” tread, or
  • All weather tires with mud and snow (M/S) mark with 1/8” tread, or
  • Four-wheel drive with 1/8” tread tires, or
  • Traction device (chains, auto-sock, etc.)
Signage along the highway will alert drivers when a Chain Law is in effect.
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