The aspen are just beginning to turn, yet the Colorado State Patrol has already had the first road closure of the season. The patrol closed Interstate 70 near the Eisenhower tunnel on Sunday to clear six separate accidents.
And the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) is preparing for the first snowfall in the high country and with the chain law season starting in September, commercial vehicle drivers should also be preparing for the winter ahead. As of September 1st, all commercial vehicles traveling on I-70 between milepost 133 (Dotsero exit) and milepost 259 (Morrison exit) must carry sufficient chains to be in compliance with the Colorado chain law. The law requires commercial vehicles to carry chains on this segment of I-70 from September 1st to May 31st.
The state patrol is already warning motorists to be aware of ice on high country highways. Colorado’s winter driving conditions can change from sunny to blowing snow within an hour or two. Motorists should be prepared at all times, but especially in winter.
CDOT advises travelers to know road conditions, know your vehicle, use proper driving techniques for the conditions you find, and have the right emergency gear and equipment along. Below are some safe driving tips and a few links to help you prepare for your trip:
- Be sure to carry plenty of windshield wiper fluid as liquid de-icers 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