Colorado sees its fair share of winter weather every year. Most local drivers adjust to the changing road conditions once the weather turns, and there is plenty of infrastructure to assist with snow removal and weather-related collisions when they do occur.
Low temperatures, less sunlight and frozen precipitation can all combine to make the roads a much more dangerous place, even during your daily commute. Still, you can make one minor change to your daily routine when the temperature starts dropping that could reduce your risk of causing a winter collision.
Start waking up 15 or 20 minutes earlier until it’s spring
With the sun coming up later and the house colder in the morning, it is likely that your instinct is to stay in bed longer if you can on winter mornings. However, oversleeping leads to rushing around the house and then to rushing during your daily commute.
While the local meteorologist may try, they often make mistakes when predicting the weather for the next day. You cannot reliably know if the roads will be slick and unsafe the next morning when you go to bed at night, so getting up a little earlier means that you have time to get ready and start your daily drive earlier if the roads look slippery.
That extra time will give you the option of slowing down during your commute, which can make all the difference in the world to your crash risk. Dropping your speed by just a few miles an hour during your daily commute could help you adjust for slippery road surfaces that increase your stopping distance and reduce your control over the vehicle.
Drivers should not treat the winter roads like the summer roads
Trying to drive at the same speed in any weather is dangerous. The law requires that you not just comply with posted speed limits but also that you adjust your driving habits or speed to select road conditions. When it is wet, cold or particularly windy, slower speeds may be necessary to ensure safety on the roads.
Giving yourself a little extra time to get to work during the winter months could help you avoid causing a motor vehicle collision.