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Linda Chalat
Linda Chalat
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Prep Your Car & Yourself For Winter Driving

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With November in full swing, many of us have turned our attention to the exciting holiday season that awaits us, and of course, the shift into winter weather. Already, the daily weather forecasts are starting to mention the dropping temperatures and possibilities of snow. While we look forward to all the enjoyable activities our Colorado winters bring, it’s also a good idea to start thinking about winterizing our cars, and remember some safe-driving tips for the snowy and icy roads that loom on the horizon.

Anyone who’s lived in Colorado for very long is well aware of the quick weather shifts that can turn a gorgeous sunny day into a windy blizzard in just a few short hours. Despite this unpredictability that we see over the winter months, there are a number of steps you can take to make sure you don’t get caught in a storm unprepared.

Stock your car with the proper supplies for winter travel:

  • Plenty of windshield wiper fluid
  • Scraper and snow brush to maintain proper visibility
  • Proper attire, including coat, hat, and gloves
  • Emergency kit including first aid equipment, flashlight, matches, and non-perishable food

Take your car to the shop before the winter weather hits and make sure it’s in good condition. In particular, make sure that your tires have a good tread.

Plan your trips carefully by paying close attention to weather forecasts and checking road conditions before travelling.

If you do get caught driving in bad weather, make sure you follow some basic safe driving tips:

  • Drive slowly, particularly when accelerating or braking
  • Avoid using cruise control
  • Increase the amount of distance between your car and those in front of you

Following basic safety principles and preparing yourself ahead of time can go a long way in ensuring that all the upcoming winter travels are safe.

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  1. Harvey McFadden says:
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    ” I did not think I was going too fast”. A common remark from people losing control of front wheel drive vehicles. What the average person and some experts are not aware of is that there can be as high as 950 pounds or more weight on the front axle of their vehicle than the back. So a car that feels like a limousine on the front holds like a golf cart on the back
    A 3000lb car with a weight ratio of 65% front weight and 35% rear weight will weigh 1950lb on the front and 1050lb on the rear. After you use 10 gallon of fuel from the rear tank one of the front wheels has as much traction as both rear combined.
    If you analyze single vehicle accidents you will find most of them had better tires on the front than the back or a very large weight difference. In fact the worst balanced cars have 4 times as many fatalities as cars designed with better balance. How are you going to tell how fast is too fast under these conditions when it is possible for a balanced car to handle fine on a slippery surface at 50 mph and an unbalanced car to lose control at 20 mph and both to feel the same to the drivers.
    Society of Automotive Engineers paper 2002-01-0553 shows any decrease of tread depth from new of the rear tires can contribute to an accident.