Colorado is a beautiful state, with gorgeous mountains, glistening lakes, wildlife and thousands of opportunities to enjoy yourself on a pleasant drive. However, with all of this beauty comes an incredibly changeable climate and other road hazards, so it’s important to stay safe while you’re taking it all in. Here are some road safety tips to keep in mind as you crisscross Colorado this summer.
Stay On Top Of Car Maintenance
Colorado’s rugged terrain places extreme demands on cars and trucks, so be sure that you stick to your maintenance schedule. This includes oil changes, steering maintenance, and suspension and braking systems. Potholes and steep inclines can make all of these things degrade faster than normal, so check with your mechanic to ensure that you’re up to date.
Keep Your Engine Cool
Mountains make your car work hard, so overheating is especially common on winding roads through the Rockies. Keep an eye on the temperature gauge on your dashboard while navigating steep roads. If the temperature goes too high, turn off your air conditioning and use the defrost setting on your heater on full power. This will help the engine cool down. If need be, you can also pull over to give your vehicle a rest, but try to do so in the most visible area of the road.
Pay Attention To Brake Overheating
Brakes can also overheat in the mountains. Brake pads that are too hot won’t grip as well, which can steal precious fractions of a second in emergency situations. If you ride your brakes too hard on the downhill, you’ll jeopardize your ability to stop when it really counts and could easily cause a car accident. Try to control your speed without applying the brakes constantly.
Keep Emergency Supplies In Your Vehicle
Help can be far away in Colorado’s back country, so you should have emergency supplies on hand in your vehicle at all times, which include:
- First-aid kit
- Tire chains and tow cable
- Ice scraper and brush
- Warm clothing
- Matches and candle
Even in the summer months, high mountain passes can become snowed in, so good preparation is key.
Driving in Colorado is a joy, and it’s no wonder that people flock to our state to see the sights we see every day. The trick is to not get complacent. Even if you think you know what to expect, Mother Nature always has one more trick up her sleeve.