The weather in Denver is snowy today. Or, I suppose it’s just cold since it already stopped snowing. The drive yesterday took me an hour and 45 minutes to get home, more than doubling my commute time. Everyone said “it must have been really bad!” But the truth is, it wasn’t. It was slow, yes. It was icy, yes. It took what felt like forever to get home, yes. But there were no accidents along my route.
Everyone was being cautious and taking their time. It was one of the nicest drives I’ve ever had in inclement weather. So, some winter driving tips from a Coloradan:
1) It’s the most commonly given tip: give yourself extra time. It’s true. I never get in a hurry. When possible, if the weather is bad, I’ll cancel plans to avoid time constraints.
2) Share the road. This means hanging back 1-3 car lengths. This is beneficial for many reasons. First, it makes merging easier and quicker. Nobody wants to sit at a standstill for give minutes because some jerk ahead of them won’t let the cars merge. Second, if you hit black ice, or any ice really, it gives you a much larger stopping distance. By giving yourself space around you, you are also giving yourself room to get around that vehicle should they be involved in an accident while you are following them.
3) Wear sunglasses if you can. It makes the glare and brightness from the snow easier to bear. It’s for your our eye safety and health.
Those are really the biggest ones for when you’re already on the road. I follow them pretty closely when possible. I know it’s different out east, but be careful wherever you may be driving in inclement weather. And don’t be afraid to pull off if you get scared or too stressed out. You’ll only be a danger and more prone to careless mistakes.