It is highly recommended that you prepare your car or truck for winter travel. Winter storms can lead to dangerous travel conditions.
A well-equipped vehicle has adequate tires, tire chains, tow rope, sand or cat litter for traction, shovel, tool kit, windshield scraper and brush, battery cables, first aid kit, flashlight, extra batteries, blankets and/or sleeping bags, extra clothing, candles, water-proof matches, high calorie packaged food for quick energy and an empty can to melt snow for drinking.
The best way to prevent treacherous winter travel is to avoid it. This can be done by staying informed about the current weather and road conditions as well as the latest weather forecasts. Information on road conditions in Colorado is available at cotrip.org.
If you should become stranded during a winter storm, stay with your vehicle and do not panic. If accompanied by others, take turns sleeping. Run the motor every hour for about ten minutes to maintain warmth, but keep windows open a little to prevent the buildup of carbon monoxide. Make sure the exhaust pipe is not blocked. Keep the car visible with brightly colored cloths tied to the side view mirrors, door handles, or external antenna. Exercise periodically by vigorously moving arms, legs, toes and fingers.
Roads which appear to be clear in the wintertime may actually be coated with a thin layer of ice, commonly known as black ice. This nearly invisible ice layer can cause you to rapidly lose control of your vehicle. Black ice is most common during the nighttime hours. If you detect black ice, you should reduce your speed.
When braking on icy and snow-packed roads, it is recommended that you apply steady pressure to the pedal just to the point of brake lock-up, allowing plenty of extra stopping distance. For those without anti-lock brakes, another suggestion is to gently tap on the brake pedal several times just prior to applying steady pressure.