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Health / Safety

Driving in snow: tips from CSUPD

January 27, 2014

snowy roadColorado State University's Police Department's senior driving instructor, Cpl. Wil Nichols, offers these tips to keep you safer when you drive on the snow and ice.

  1. Check your car-- is it ready? Make sure your tires are inflated, your fluids are topped off, and that you have a full tank of gas. The side of the road in a snow storm is not the time to realize you should have filled up. 
  2. Make an emergency kit for your car. It should have (at a minimum) some food, blankets, an emergency flashlight, snow shovel, a cell phone charger, and any repair tools that you feel comfortable using. 
  3. When driving in snow, give yourself plenty of following distance with the car in front of you. Only drive as fast as your skill and tires will allow.  Look even further down the road than you normally would, so that you can plan ahead when you are turning or stopping. Even if you are skilled at driving on ice, others won’t be, so you’ll need to be aware of the traffic around you. 
  4. If your car does start to slide, don’t slam on the brakes. Instead, steer into the skid and slowly remove your foot from the accelerator. Look where you want the car to go, not at the car or curb you’re trying to avoid.       
  5. If you do end up off the road, don’t panic. Run the engine only as often as needed to keep the car warm. Call for help and understand that in a storm, it may take quite a while for help to arrive. If you have tried to get the car out and haven’t been successful, wait for help; you could badly damage your car or cause it to slide further off the road to a more dangerous location, if you continue to try to get out of a ditch and cannot.


Contact: Dell Rae Ciaravola
Phone: (970) 491-6009